Capitalism giveth, and capitalism taketh away

Filter, one of the few reasons to still go to Wicker Park, is being evicted from the Flat Iron Building. The hot dog place Swank Frank is also being booted. Why? So a new Bank of America branch can move in.


The Bolsheviks Hitler would love

I was intrigued when a news article about a protest in Russia mentioned a National Bolshevik Party that has allied with the liberal opposition to Putin. I expected the NBP to be a splinter from the Communist Party, but it turns out that National Bolsheviks are Bolshevik the same way National Socialists are socialist - as their flag indicates.

Even better, NBP leader Eduard Limonov was a Soviet exile who "arrived in New York City in 1974 as an émigré and began writing novels. He fell in with the New York punk and avante-garde scene, acquiring an admiration for Lou Reed, as well as such American writers as Charles Bukowski." Later he moved to Paris and joined literary society there. Later still he "join[ed] a sniper patrol in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the Bosnian war" - in support of Serbia. He supported extreme nationalist Vladimir Zhironvsky before splitting with him. The NBP explained that "a Jew masquerading as a Russian nationalist is a sickness, a pathology." Finally, "Limonov has listed among his idols Joseph Stalin, Mikhail Bakunin, Julius Evola and Yukio Mishima."

The SS look is back in style among National Bolsheviks.


Shrines of the machine

I don't read John Kass very often, but this column is great. On election day he went around to Daley strongholds on the Irish Catholic southwest side and asked Democratic machine workers where the shrines to their saints are. The "saints" are corrupt machine members who have resigned in disgrace, but who Daley continues to treat as if they were beatified. We get this classic exchange:
we walked up to the Daley machine captains, including one man who ate two slices of sausage pizza but didn't offer me any, and I asked them about the political shrines.

"Shrines?" said one. "You kidding? We don't got no shrines in this neighborhood."

How dare you pretend not to know! My back hurts, and I was hoping to buy a relic at the Shrine of Robert the Mute, and drink from his fountain, and so be healed.

"What?" asked the captain.

Robert the Mute. Robert Sorich [a top Daley aid and patronage boss, convicted in federal court last year].

"That's ignorant," said another Daley captain and friend of Sorich. "That's in poor taste. It's ignorant."