Chicago – May 1, 2018

harold-washington-library-center
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.”

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Chicago – March 1, 2018

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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.

Reaching into the New Year…

FoggyMag
Foggy Mag

Welcome to an update for the February edition of Central Standard Time. As promised, there will be more in the coming weeks.

New contributor, Glenn Estry, joins the crew with a wonderful offering in Food #2… Glenn’s Mussels.

The Studio Rat returns with a memory of mad obsession in “We’re Rolling.” What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Please re-visit the outstanding essays in this month’s edition. I am happy you are here.

February’s cover image is another from Paul Chen. This is what happens when one of Chicago’s finest videographers walks the streets on a foggy day. More of the city can be seen on his page.

The world moves forward on the coattails of the obsessed, the driven, the inspired and tenacious humans around us. Beings unable to put down the pen, the paintbrush, the instrument, the book, the stats; they stay up later than they should and rise early to refine their physical being and mental processes. Here are some of the obsessed and driven people we know. Sit with us, then write your own story.

Marc Piane reflects on nature and nurture in “Origin“.

I encourage everyone to visit and pledge to the Marc Piane MS Fundraiser:

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR?px=5297905&fr_id=29358&pg=personal

 

Don’t miss Brule Eagan’s “A Radio Life.” My buddy has too much fun and he’s not finished.

Steve Buschbacher recently underwent a knee replacement. He immediately underwent the best physical therapy, his drum kit and Philadelphia band, Bluestime, in “Feeding My Soul.”

Erin Denk returns! I wouldn’t stop asking (the poor woman rolls her eyes). Though I asked for good reason. Erin’s amazing art is a given and her writing is always a gift of insight. Check out “A Creative Life.”

Billy Denk also relented to my requests and penned “Inspiration.” My first impression of Bill, the musician, will always be remembered as a constant flow of invention, his story reveals how it happened.

We travel with Tom DeMichael through the sacred time of Sixteen-inch Softball, the clincher. The more you played, the softer it became. The farthest I ever saw this powder-puff get hit, Tom was at bat. I don’t know a greater embodiment of the sport, but “Why Baseball?

In Search of the Lost Chordis John Zielinski at his finest. It’s about the need to create.

Uh oh! Chef Geoff has a knife in his hand and he’s headed for the kitchen. We celebrate the return of good meals in Food #1.

Grab a mug of your favorite beverage. I’m down with Kenya AA right now, the world is good. Have a seat at the virtual table and join the conversation. As always, feel free to speak up and let the writers know your thoughts. You can CONTACT me, anytime.

Some nights I lie awake and think of audio signal paths, wondering if anyone else is this insane. Of course… too many to count.

Reaching into the New Year…

FoggyMag
Foggy Mag

Welcome to an update for the February edition of Central Standard Time. As promised, there will be more in the coming weeks.

New contributor, Glenn Estry, joins the crew with a wonderful offering in Food #2… Glenn’s Mussels.

The Studio Rat returns with a memory of memory and mad obsession in “We’re Rolling.” What a long, strange trip it’s been.

Please re-visit the outstanding essays in this month’s edition. I am happy you are here.

February’s cover image is another from Paul Chen. This is what happens when one of Chicago’s finest videographers walks the streets on a foggy day. More of the city can be seen on his page.

The world moves forward on the coattails of the obsessed, the driven, the inspired and tenacious humans around us. Beings unable to put down the pen, the paintbrush, the instrument, the book, the stats; they stay up later than they should and rise early to refine their physical being and mental processes. Here are some of the obsessed and driven people we know. Sit with us, then write your own story.

Marc Piane reflects on nature and nurture in “Origin“.

I encourage everyone to visit and pledge to the Marc Piane MS Fundraiser:

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR?px=5297905&fr_id=29358&pg=personal

 

Don’t miss Brule Eagan’s “A Radio Life.” My buddy has too much fun and he’s not finished.

Steve Buschbacher recently underwent a knee replacement. He immediately underwent the best physical therapy, his drum kit and Philadelphia band, Bluestime, in “Feeding My Soul.”

Erin Denk returns! I wouldn’t stop asking (the poor woman rolls her eyes). Though I asked for good reason. Erin’s amazing art is a given and her writing is always a gift of insight. Check out “A Creative Life.”

Billy Denk also relented to my requests and penned “Inspiration.” My first impression of Bill, the musician, will always be remembered as a constant flow of invention, his story reveals how it happened.

We travel with Tom DeMichael through the sacred time of Sixteen-inch Softball, the clincher. The more you played, the softer it became. The farthest I ever saw this powder-puff get hit, Tom was at bat. I don’t know a greater embodiment of the sport, but “Why Baseball?

In Search of the Lost Chordis John Zielinski at his finest. It’s about the need to create.

Uh oh! Chef Geoff has a knife in his hand and he’s headed for the kitchen. We celebrate the return of good meals in Food #1.

Grab a mug of your favorite beverage. I’m down with Kenya AA right now, the world is good. Have a seat at the virtual table and join the conversation. As always, feel free to speak up and let the writers know your thoughts. You can CONTACT me, anytime.

Some nights I lie awake and think of audio signal paths, wondering if anyone else is this insane. Of course… too many to count.

Reaching into the New Year…

John Hanc

Welcome to the February edition of Central Standard Time. I am so glad you’re here. There is much more planned for the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

February’s cover image is courtesy of Paul Chen. This is what happens when one of Chicago’s finest videographers walks the streets on a foggy day. More of the city can be seen on his page.

The world moves forward on the coattails of the obsessed, the driven, the inspired and tenacious humans around us. Beings unable to put down the pen, the paintbrush, the instrument, the book, the stats; they stay up later than they should and rise early to refine their physical being and mental processes. Here are some of the obsessed and driven people we know. Sit with us, then write your own story.

Marc Piane reflects on nature and nurture in “Origin“.

I encourage everyone to visit and pledge to the Marc Piane MS Fundraiser:

http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR?px=5297905&fr_id=29358&pg=personal

 

Don’t miss Brule Eagan’s “A Radio Life.” My buddy has too much fun and he’s not finished.

Steve Buschbacher recently underwent a knee replacement. He immediately underwent the best physical therapy, his drum kit and Philadelphia band, Bluestime, in “Feeding My Soul.”

Erin Denk returns! I wouldn’t stop asking (the poor woman rolls her eyes). Though I asked for good reason. Erin’s amazing art is a given and her writing is always a gift of insight. Check out “A Creative Life.”

Billy Denk also relented to my requests and penned “Inspiration.” My first impression of Bill, the musician, will always be remembered as a constant flow of invention, his story reveals how it happened.

We travel with Tom DeMichael through the sacred time of Sixteen-inch Softball, the clincher. The more you played, the softer it became. The farthest I ever saw this powder-puff get hit, Tom was at bat. I don’t know a greater embodiment of the sport, but “Why Baseball?

In Search of the Lost Chordis John Zielinski at his finest. It’s about the need to create.

Uh oh! Chef Geoff has a knife in his hand and he’s headed for the kitchen. We celebrate the return of good meals in Food #1.

Grab a mug of your favorite beverage. I’m down with Kenya AA right now, the world is good. Have a seat at the virtual table and join the conversation. As always, feel free to speak up and let the writers know your thoughts. You can CONTACT me, anytime.

Some nights I lie awake and think of audio signal paths, wondering if anyone else is this insane. Of course… too many to count.

American Statesmen –

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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.

January –

GettyImages-855728_2640652aWelcome to the January edition of Central Standard Time.

As a child of the Sixties, socio-political awareness was a part of the era’s cultural framework. The best motives of those times are experiencing a re-birth. Through the rigors of daily life, economic survival, the ladder of success, or the “old ennui” Sinatra sang of, we start the new year with an air of activism. It fills the heart. The new generation of advocacy is broad, crossing lines of gender, age, race, faith, income…we are all in this together and it’s time to speak up.

The limit of my “front-page politics” concerns an apolitical epiphany. For decades, my disappointment with our government’s cavalier handling of money always crossed party lines. “Vote the bastards out” has been my rally cry. In general, the whole situation would be better served by some common business sense and capitalist principles. I now feel this is in error, deeply so.

The responsibility of good governance is providing for the least of our countrymen, while cultivating the best we have to offer the world. Tomorrow will surely arrive, and the enemy of that progress is poverty and illiteracy. Those poisons are as diverse as the population. Of all the resolutions made in vain at this time of year, stepping away from the computer and contributing to the betterment of our world is the greatest calling to which we can aspire. Coming editions will shine a light on new avenues of attack. The mindset remains apolitical.

This month’s offering of articles is nothing short of spectacular.

Joan Tortorici Ruppert joins the crew with a conference reflecting on the loss of so many music giants in Broken Records.

Friday the 13th would not be complete without our resident sage, Brule Eagan, and the big question: Do You Feel Lucky?

Always insightful, John Zielinski writes an excellent political essay about the big post-partum, This is Not the Piece I Had Planned to Write. Good stuff.

We begin chapter 2 of Marc Piane‘s “Outside In.” Night Hike takes us to the perfect moon.

Roxane Assaf-Lynn graciously allows us to reprint her latest article as it appears in the Huffington Post. Expose’ or Hip-Hooray is an entertaining journey, from departure to arrival.

The Grand Pubah of the dugout, Tom DeMichael, talks Chicago baseball in But, What Have You Done For Us Lately?

Our favorite blues guy, Steve Buschbacher has some questions about song lyrics in the modern age with They Don’t Write ’em Like they Used To.

And finally from the Publisher’s Desk, a conversation about self-control.

I am so happy you are here. Let’s have a morning or two of respite from the daily grind. Did I say “grind?” That must mean coffee is involved.