Chicago – April 15, 2018

palmolivebldg
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.

US Constitution


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.”

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.

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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 – March 17, 2018

Raft Man-web
Raft Man

The last vestiges of a winter chill will not deter our spring. Balmy temps and the “great outdoor escape” are around the corner. Hang in there.

One of the serendipitous coincidences when publishing a blog is discovery. I have known this talented woman for almost two decades and, once again, I’m awakened to the intellectual depth of my friend. Allow me to introduce Rainee Denham.

Rainee is the classic trifecta of a life in theater, a captivating voice, dancing graces, and the transcendent study of acting. Here she reveals a sophisticated level of communication through the written word. Visit her website (raineedenham.com) and be amazed.

Turn And Face The Strange is the first visit from Rainee. She will join us for the April edition of Central Standard Time with another compelling article.

Brule Eagan writes his annual homage to blarney in Up the Oirish!” 

Chef Geofredo DiMucci (that may be an alias!) treats us to Chicken Cacciatore in Food #6.

Part 2 of Constitutionally Speaking continues a series from The Publisher’s Desk. We examine the concept of Federalism.”

A new index of recipes from our crack team of culinary giants (!) now resides on the CONTACT page.


As always, I am so pleased you are here. Every month the contributors to this blog ask you to read. Reading is the muscle of knowledge and intellect, and fundamental to our future. Visit the enlightened creativity that graces these pages and note your opinion with the “Like” button. Better yet, send your opinions with a comment. We love to hear from you.

Making Meaning In Art: In the Studio of Gabriel Karagianis by Erin reeves Denk

All The News That’s Fit To Print? by Steve Buschbacher

The Most Trusted Man in America by John Zielinski

Quo Vadis, Mr. Murrow by Brule Eagan

Ahh, Spring by Tom DeMichael

Philosophy Meets Real Life by Marc Piane

Constitutionally Speaking by Joe Tortorici

 

Chicago – March 17, 2018

Raft Man-web
Raft Man

The last vestiges of a winter chill will not deter our spring. Balmy temp’s and the “great outdoor escape” are around the corner. Hang in there.

One of the serendipitous coincidences when publishing a blog is discovery. I have known this talented woman for almost two decades and, once again, I’m awakened to the intellectual depth of my friend. Allow me to introduce Rainee Denham.

Rainee is the classic trifecta of a life in theater, a captivating voice, dancing graces, and the transcendent study of acting. Here she reveals a sophisticated level of communication through the written word. Visit her website (raineedenham.com) and be amazed.

Turn And Face The Strange is the first visit from Rainee. She will join us for the April edition of Central Standard Time with another compelling article.

Brule Eagan writes his annual homage to blarney in Up the Oirish!” 

Chef Geofredo DiMucci (that may be an alias!) treats us to Chicken Cacciatore in Food #6.

Part 2 of Constitutionally Speaking continues a series from The Publisher’s Desk. We examine the concept of Federalism.”

A new index of recipes from our crack team of culinary giants (!) now resides on the CONTACT page.


As always, I am so pleased you are here. Every month the contributors to this blog ask you to read. Reading is the muscle of knowledge and intellect, and fundamental to our future. Visit the enlightened creativity that graces these pages and note your opinion with the “Like” button. Better yet, send your opinions with a comment. We love to hear from you.

Making Meaning In Art: In the Studio of Gabriel Karagianis by Erin reeves Denk

All The News That’s Fit To Print? by Steve Buschbacher

The Most Trusted Man in America by John Zielinski

Quo Vadis, Mr. Murrow by Brule Eagan

Ahh, Spring by Tom DeMichael

Philosophy Meets Real Life by Marc Piane

Constitutionally Speaking by Joe Tortorici

 

Chicago – March 1, 2018

Raft Challenger-web
Raft Challenger – by Gabriel Karagianis

In the news…

The onslaught of information is overwhelming. At various times throughout the day my brain arcs and short-circuits my cognitive processes. Not only the deluge of mind-numbing facts in a world gone mad, but the preposterous takes up equal time. You just have to shake your head and ask “What?”

Objective reality is in competition with the absurd, all of it under the moniker “news.” How do we make informed decisions? Not only has it become necessary to have multiple sources, it serves us well to remember a time when misinformation was not legitimized. Reporting news, regardless of the medium, was a privileged enterprise. My friend, Brule, reminds us that informing the public was a trust left to professionals that did not speak to the lowest common denominator, but communicated to a literate public. We became educated through the news; we read newspapers; we heard a term and made the effort to find its origin or location on a map.

An acquaintance recently posted her decision making process – “Fox News, the Bible, my own thinking, and what my guinea pig says.” I’m not certain what part of that is a joke.

The talented crew at Central Standard Time gives enlightened perspectives on the information battlefield. Who? What? When? Where? How?

Our cover art is courtesy of Gabriel Karagianis. Erin Reeves Denk talked to Gabriel as only another artist can, and shares her conversation in Making Meaning In Art: In the Studio of Gabriel Karagianis.

Steve Buschbacher gives us a quick review of the available sources for information in his essay, All The News That’s Fit To Print? 

When confusion reigned, we turned to The Most Trusted Man in America. Regular contributor John Zielinski offers a profile of the reporter that defines his profession to this day.

Broadcaster Brule Eagan, has been on the front-lines of the information flow for decades. Who better to give a long look at how we arrived in this place. His essay Quo Vadis, Mr. Murrow is a detailed history of the reporter’s profession.

The pre-season in underway! Both the Cubs and White Sox are brimming with new prospects and enduring hope for the season to come. The “Sports Oracle” Tom DeMichael, gives us the skinny in Ahh, Spring.

Our blog shares many stories of diverse interest. No greater subject of discussion is that of our humanity and our common circumstance. Marc Piane writes a moving note to all of us about the value of goodness in Philosophy Meets Real Life.

Chef Janet (my sister!) keeps a legacy intact with the essence of Sicilian soul-food. Check out Food #5 for a family specialty.

And from the Publisher’s Desk, we begin a series of plain-language examinations regarding the truth and untruth spoken about our Constitution. This is more than simple civics, Constitutionally Speaking.

Please support Marc Piane’s fundraiser

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As always, grab a cup of coffee and have a seat. Don’t hesitate to join in and comment or ask questions. We are here for you.

Chicago – February 17, 2018

Photography by Paul Chen

Welcome to the February 17th edition of Central Standard Time. Grab your morning cup and join the crew for a quiet moment of reading in this week of somber news. The coming March issue will stimulate many discussions regarding all we see and hear in this world of digital media. Stay tuned.

With that thought in mind, Steve Buschbacher penned a moving article about loss and the serious matter of accountability. Please take a moment with “When Is It Enough.”

I want to introduce my Chicago music community to Francis Buckley. My friend Francis is not only one of the top engineer/producers in Los Angeles, he is a Detroit native that brought Midwestern sensibilities with him to the Land of Oz.

Just when you thought you knew all about Marc Piane… wrong. Chef Marc is in the kitchen with a bottle of wine and a dozen eggs. What could go wrong? Nothing! All is tasty in Food #3. Don’t miss this one.

Follow the adventures of a young man in the city as he discovers some hard and valuable lessons about truth. “The Altar Boy” is a message of love from father to son. I hope you enjoy it.

Please stop by the many articles featured throughout February. A summary of Food articles will begin in March. As a wise man once said “A splendid time is guaranteed for all.”

In Search of the Lost Chord” – John Zielinski.

Why Baseball?” – Tom DeMichael 

Inspiration” – Billy Denk 

A Creative Life” – Erin Denk 

Feeding My Soul” – Steve Buschbacher 

A Radio Life” – Brule Eagan 

Origin” – Marc Piane 

Photography by Paul Chen

Welcome the New Year!

Good-night,-Loen!
Godnight, Loen!

The image you see above is from Martynas Milkevicius. His presence speaks to the times as we share a vision from half the world away. How fortunate we are to feature his gallery on the KIOSK page. The global community is real, and now.

I found a common thread of optimism weaving its way through the essays this month. We will survive the recent onslaught of electric-shock treatments to our cultural frontal lobe. These political troubles will pass. A populist voice is awakened and we are talking about the world. There is an air of activism at large.

This blog is made to go with coffee, of course.

John Zielinski knows ornithology. True… and not just the Charlie Parker standard. His essay “For The Birds” extols the virtue of community and survival.

Steve Buschbacher asks “Are We Selfish?” and talks values. How were you raised?

Brule Eagan takes on “The Annual Challenge” of New Years in free-form.

What better time of year to talk baseball? Tom DeMichael has the latest from winter camp and thoughts for both Cubs and Sox fans, “Buh-Buh-Baseball – What’s New, Year?

Is reality subjective? Marc Piane tugs at our brain muscle in his essay “A Thought for the New Year.”

At “The Publisher’s Desk” I reviewed a recent field trip. “This Place” was a day well-spent in reflection.

We stride into the New Year with energy and a sense of determination. The world moves forward through the hands of the obsessed. These are people who can’t put down the pen, who can’t stop painting, alone practicing their musical instrument hour after hour, driven people, compelled to read and learn, speak and listen.

Such are the contributors in this month’s issue of Central Standard Time. Contemporary views from the urban, the urbane, the wry and seasoned, creative practitioners in every discipline grace these pages for you… the reader.

Write to the publisher – jstortorici@gmail.com. I invite your input. Don’t forget the coffee.

American Statesmen –

US-state-department

Before introducing this month’s articles, it is worthwhile for every American to reflect on some of the unsung heroes populating the halls of our government. Theirs is an unwavering path of significance.


In January of this year. I enrolled in an honors course examining International Relations. The class, through the City Colleges of Chicago, was uniquely chosen to participate in a State Department program called The Diplomacy Lab. Launched in 2013, this is a Public-Private Partnership that enables the State Department to “course-source” research and innovation related to foreign policy challenges by harnessing the efforts of students and faculty experts at colleges and universities across the United States.

Within the structure of Public/Private Partnerships, we examined social entrepreneurship, the State Department’s Global Partnership Initiative, USAID , and a variety of programs addressing issues around the globe: children’s rights and public works in India, land rights in Thailand, citizen sector and renewable energy in Brazil, public health in Nigeria, environmental concerns in Iceland, microfinance in Bangladesh, and nascent entrepreneurship throughout Central and South America.

My class interacted, one on one, with representatives from the State Department and other universities in the evaluation of selected social programs. It was the experience of a lifetime. Thank you, Professor Mayer.

A potent example of unified effort can be found in this TED Talk:

Myriam Sidibe – The simple power of handwashing

I find myself in awe of the career diplomats we met. If they had a partisan dogma, it was never evident. Theirs is a world of global perspective and a deep sense of responsibility for utilizing the vast resources of our country in an effort to address real-world problems. These are dedicated people that see possibilities through countless improbabilities, venerating the art of statesmanship. They function with little fanfare, remaining the quiet steady force of an America we seldom acknowledge. It was a humbling example of true patriotism.

I learned the community of nations operates most productively at the conference table. Civility, language, accountability, and the nature of practical debate are more formidable than any force of arms. The future belongs to this conviction.

Within the tsunami of reading required to survive this course, Professor Mayer included two exceptional books. For those interested in world affairs, I highly recommend:

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It – Collier, Paul. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007)

The Wilsonian Moment: Self-determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism – Manela, Erez. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007)


I can’t overstate the superlatives when speaking about the exceptional, talented people contributing to this blog. Yet, once again, they exceed every expectation. Please welcome a new page to this humble effort, KIOSK. Quips, commentary, music, poetry, marginalia, all will find a path to the village square of Central Standard Time.

Brule Eagan reports from Los Fresnos, where everything is Texas-sized…including the future, in Land of the Giants.”

Steve Buschbacher never shies from the most difficult questions and his essay Liberal Media? gets to the point. Let’s talk reality.

John Zielinski proves unequivocally “All that we can control is the now” in his insightful essay It’s About Time.”

Tom DeMichael has few peers when it comes to the topic of baseball. Tom breaks down the current highs and lows of our Cubs and White Sox in Crosstown.”

Marc Piane is back with brain food. When Marc’s research includes Monty Python, his philosophical perspective Thinking Critically vs Being Critical is likely to include an Argument Clinic.

Our new page, KIOSK, will begin the urban affectation for violating “Post No Bills.” This month we are treated to some verse from Rebecca Francescatti and Linda Solotaire. So much more is coming for this part of our monthly presentation.

My 50th high school reunion is on the immediate horizon. It’s been months of reflection and wonderful memories. I hope my former class-mates will join me in The Reunion.”

Thank you for being here. Let’s take a break from the common and keep company with the uncommon. As always, fill your favorite mug with designer coffee and have a seat. Let us know your thoughts and wishes…this publication belongs to you.