Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday fun activity: Where IS this?



     The moment I set eyes on this dim and cluttered place I thought, "Mmmm, could it...?" I know I'm batting zero when it comes to stumping readers on the Saturday fun activity—you just nail it every time. 
    But this is off-the-beaten track, almost the definition of off-the-beaten-trackiness, this private space in a public place, and I thought it might possibly provide a little challenge. At least it provided an excuse to bring back the Fun Activity for a special, one-day-only appearance to test my hypothesis.
     Where is this shabby room? Since I imagine someone will nail it at 7:01 a.m., I'll need a prize ... how about a volume from the official Kennedy assassination report? Sure to distinguish any coffee table. I'm cleaning out my office for the big move next week and just can't take it all with me. Someone will cherish the thing. Or not. Hard to tell.
    Anyway, place your guesses below. Good luck. Have fun. 


20 comments:

  1. I think that is from the Intuitive Outsider Art Center on the North Side. Cool exhibitions there.

    Dan Ripes
    Highland Park, IL

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    1. Bingo. Congratulations. Send your address to dailysteinberg@gmail.com and I'll send you your prize.

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    2. Perhaps you could elaborate on the cleverly named Intuitive Outsider Art Center. Though I suppose we could look it up.

      john

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    3. Yes. It's on Elston Avenue, and built around the work of Henry Darger, who was a hospital janitor in Chicago whose work was entirely unknown until his death in 1973, when his apartment—recreated in the museum and depicted above—was discovered chocked with this enormous work, a mythic-sexual odyssey featuring deeply strange "Vivian Girls," an army of cartoonish girls, some with penises, set about a variety of adventures. He's something of the patron saint of Outsider Art. It's a cool museum, a small but appealing exhibit space, with a worthwhile gift shop I'm going to write something about closer to Christmas. I had always meant to go, but never got around to it. Then when I went to stop by Howard Tullman's condo to see his work, a) I got there early and b) Intuit was next door. Admission is free.

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    4. Thanks. I did look it up. Intriguing and I'm sure well worth a trip North. However, the address provided on its website is 756 N. Milwaukee. Elston doesn't start until you get to the other side of Chicago Avenue.

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    5. Interesting that the work is titled Vivian Girls, as the first thing that came to my mind from your description of the artist was Vivian Maier, whose own collection was unknown to the art world prior to her death. Another example of the coincidence phenomenon you address in today's column?

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  2. I have no idea where this is but I'd love a chance to get a volume of the report! Any plans for the rest of it?

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    1. I'm going to throw it away. If you want a volume, send me your address and I'll mail you one.

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  3. Thanks Neil. Keep helping relieve the creeping anxiety felt in living in these times of failing governments and greedy oligarchs.

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  4. (Mostly) off-topic, but I'm wondering if you plan to address the deluge of reports of harassment and assault in film, comedy, politics, and presumably most other fields /occupations (Bob Greene comes to mind). I consider myself blessed not to have encountered this while I was in the workforce (unless I was too naive to have recognized it), but I am overwhelmed by how pervasive and widespread it appears to be. And what on earth possesses men to behave in the way that Harvey Weinstein allegedly and Louis CK admittedly have? Do they think it is gratifying to women (I'll speak for my sisters and say that for the majority it is not), or do they not care since they're gratifying themselves? How much is about power, how much is about sex, and how much is some sort of compulsive behavior?

    I do realize that most men are NOT doing these kinds of things, but are they as surprised as I by what's been emerging? Have they been aware of it going on in their workplace? If so, how have they dealt with it? What do they think women should do when it occurs, given how often accusations are not believed?

    I'm not suggesting there's any reason you in particular would have specific insight into this, but I find your take on so many topics to be enlightening that I thought perhaps you could help me make some sense of this.

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    1. I haven't weighed in because I'm not sure what to make of it, nor what kind of insight I might offer. It's hard to believe we're witnessing a sudden sea-change in society over so fundamental an issue as how women are treated. Harvey Weinstein sparked this outpouring but at some point it'll abate and where will we be? If women are now not to be casually abused by the powerful, then what is our Congress still doing there? If it isn't that, what is it? Some kind of mania? I'm reluctant to put my hand into the cage of this topic, as somebody who dislikes seeing people cashiered over accusations, even Roy Moore -- plenty of reasons why he shouldn't even be running BEFORE this. The decades-old aspect to the accusations is also worrisome. As to why men do this kind of thing, I have no idea. To me, the whole point of sex is the other person is an eager participant. Without that, it's kinda unimaginable. At least for me. Not something I'm leaping to put in the newspaper though.

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    2. Yes, clearly there are more questions than clear-cut answers at this point. Thank you for responding, though.

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    3. I do suspect that the decades-long delay, in many cases,is due to the women having some hope that in the current climate they have a greater shot at being believed and supported. In the Moore case, my understanding is that none of the women in the reports initiated things with the press, but each was approached by the Washington Post reporters who were following up on what they had been told by other sources.

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    4. Coey, your off-topic comment might have precipitated a swell discussion in one of the ole EGD motels back in the day! And what better place for it than a motel? ; )

      Since I hate to see a comment such as that going un-responded to by the Commentariat, I'm gonna chime in with my own off-topic reply, even though you addressed it specifically to our genial host. (Though I doubt that Henry Darger would mind.)

      Evidently, you *are* "blessed not to have encountered this," indeed, given all the stories -- especially the less-sensational ones involving regular folks and not actresses or people in the entertainment industry.

      It seems pretty clear to me that Weinstein and Mr. CK were only interested in gratifying themselves, as you say, and the women may as well have been props, for all the consideration their feelings were given. Sorting out the intersection of sex, power and compulsiveness involved would require a much deeper and more individual analysis than could be offered in a blog comment, it seems to me.

      "are they as surprised as I by what's been emerging?" I can only speak for myself, but, I am. I'm pretty old and, while I grew up in a classic Catholic-school world-unto-itself, I feel like I've been pretty aware of the larger world around me since then. Up until the Weinstein thing, I'd never even heard of the idea of a "regular" guy -- uh -- pleasuring himself in front of an unwilling woman, completely out-of-the-blue. (Stereotypical perverts in trench-coats in the park, yes.) The fact that CK did the same thing is kinda amazing to me, in addition to being revolting. I've heard a fair share of "locker room talk" before, though not as much as many, I suppose, but not about that...

      "Have they been aware of it going on in their workplace? If so, how have they dealt with it?" I haven't, personally, and so I haven't. I imagine lots of others just try to turn a blind eye toward it and not get involved.

      But a lot of men are evidently creeps. All I can think is that men like to see *women* naked, so somehow these guys hope that maybe sexting someone like Anthony Weiner or emerging in a bathrobe will encourage a woman to respond in the way they'd like. Pathetic and disgusting, but the best idea they can come up with.

      Anyway, when even a guy like Jimmy Carter volunteered that he'd "looked on a lot of women with lust" and had "committed adultery in my heart many times" and George H. W. Bush has decided to use the handy access to women's backsides offered by a wheelchair to start pinching butts in his dotage, offering the follow-up of "I'm not *that* President," I think one may safely conclude that there are more creeps out there than one might have imagined. Still. As there always have been...

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    5. Actually Coey, your comment got me chewing on this whole thing and, as I had to write SOMETHING today, I figured I might as well gird my loins and venture into this fraught area. In tomorrow's paper.

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    6. Your comments are always appreciated, Jakash, and I respect any guy willing to wade into this thicket these days.

      I don't really have any issue with the Jimmy Carter's of the world, as long as they've kept their desires in their hearts. It's the acting on it with unwilling and in some cases virtually powerless victims that frosts me.

      I very much look forward to seeing our host's musings on the topic tomorrow, and I feel honored to have influenced, in some small way, the contents of the paper. (Gird your loins: good one!)

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    7. It may be too late for Neil to address this in tomorrow's article, but I thought I'd mention that when talking about all this recently with my husband, he said something in line with Jackash's "men are creeps" remark, and then added that that's why it's up to women to keep them in line. Let's just say I expressed strong disagreement with that!

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    8. How is a 22-year old aspiring actress supposed to keep a guy like Weinstein in line, I wonder. Walking out on him and then being blackballed in the industry didn't seem to be very effective...

      As to our host, especially since NS has made it clear that he "doesn't take requests," it's pretty cool that you seem to be getting your own made-to-order column tomorrow, Coey. Looking forward to it, as well. : )

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  5. At first glance I thought it was Neil's office at the Sun-Times, but then I noticed all the Catholic paraphernalia on the mantel.

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  6. Absolutely fascinating. It's a good thing I had no idea where it was.

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