Thursday, January 06, 2005

Chicago's news outlets help and hinder

Chicago's news outlets did a great thing yesterday by running a pledge drive for the American Red Cross/Chicago Media Tsunami Relief Effort. They raised over $1.7 million. Way to go, Chicago.

However, they also caused a major inconvenience for people by slowing down traffic by setting up camera crews to cover the bad traffic during the snow storm yesterday. Okay, so maybe it was the fault of the idiot drivers who have to slow down and stare at anything on the shoulder of the expressway. In these days of the Internet, where one could easily look up traffic conditions, I feel really bad for those poor reporters who have to stand in the middle of gusting winds and snow to say that traffic is at a standstill.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Let it snow

A couple of years ago I would be stressing right now, provided I was awake. My biggest fear when I was commuting out to Schaumburg every day was that there would be a snow storm on my way to or from work. One of the best things about my commute now is that I can take the train, which isn't nearly as affected by snow as the roadways are.

Right now there doesn't seem to be too much snow on the ground. Maybe a couple of inches. But the morning rush doesn't start for another few hours, and The Weather Channel is predicting the "wintry mix" for that time of the morning.

Aahhh, the dreaded wintry mix. I don't think any words, outside of "blizzard" or "ice storm" freaked me out as much as "wintry mix" when I had to drive 25 miles to work every day. Now I say, "Bring it on, I'll make it to work anyway."

I have actually started to like snow more. Before I started the commute from hell I used to like snow. I even played in it sometimes. Then the thought of having to drive in it came, and I didn't like it so much. Now snow is cool again.

The only thing bothering me about the snow right now was that I wanted to do some shopping during my lunch break tomorrow at work, and if there's a wintry mix I don't think I'm going to want to be outside walking. Oh well. I need those shoes!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


Before today, I had only seen this addressed on another blog. I don't remember which one, and if I find it I will edit this post to give credit.

Those of you who live in and around Chicago have no doubt heard about the sexual assaults that occurred in the Wrigleyville and Lincoln Park neighborhoods, and by now know that there has been an arrest. Unless you live under a rock, I'm sure you have heard all you want to on the topic.

Not to belittle or take the light away from the terrible crimes that occurred, but the coverage has made me angry. I thought about it a little bit at first, and then when I read the aforementioned blog, I became much more angry, even irate.

A number of women get sexually assaulted in upwardly mobile, trendy, yuppy neighborhoods and it's all over the news. As it should be. But how come, when there was a serial rapist in my neighborhood a few years back, it didn't get a mention on the news until the number of attacks was about 9? (Note: I'm relying on my memory here, it may have been a few more, a few less, whatever. I don't remember anything in the paper or TV news until there were quite a few.) And even then, it was only mentioned briefly and received no where near the coverage that Wrigleyville/Lincoln Park rapes received. Or the Wicker Park ones a year or two ago.

How come, when there was an attempted sexual assault in the lobby of my apartment building, the news didn't cover it until weeks later? And then, the media's main focus wasn't on the fact that an attempted sexual assault occurred, but on the fact that given that it occurred so close to a university, yet the university didn't warn the student body about it. It was during the summer when there aren't many people on and around campus, that was the university's defense. Anyway, the news story I saw described the assailant in passing. The main thrust of the item was slamming the university.

If it had happened next to DePaul, I wonder if the media would have jumped on it much sooner.

Finally, today, an article in the Chicago Tribune discusses how the media doesn't cover sexual assaults that occur in the poor neighborhoods on the West and South Sides, where they are much more frequent. Note: I don't live in one of those neighborhoods either; I live in a sort of in-between neighborhood. In some areas of the city there were over 100 sexual assaults last year. That is much more than the trendy areas that get reported.

Again, I don't mean to imply that what happened in Wrigleyville/Lincoln Park isn't horrible or doesn't warrant the attention. My point is, don't these other areas deserve attention too?