- First, I need to plug myself and my bandmates. Catch Andy Pagel drumming tonight with the Liam Ford Band (formerly Liam Ford and the Band inBlack, which I actually thought was a better band name, especially since Billy "Liam Ford" Staff does indeed do a convincing Johnny Cash impression). I still take issue with them calling themselves rockabilly (or maybe that's because I used to play in a psychobilly band, and once you've played that stuff at lightning speed, you do tend to expect all rockabilly to sound like Elvis too amphetimines, not barbituates). Anyway, they are very enjoyable, and they work as a cover band because they all truly love this music they're playing. I've enjoyed their shows, and it shows off my drummer's amazing versatility (one night he's playing gentle country swing, the next night you're stroking your chin wondering if anybody else in town could do Keith Moon any better.)
- But tomorrow night, my band, Loblolly is playing a rare show at the rarely opened Circle A cafe at Weil and Chambers. Floor Model will be on the bill, as well as a new band, the Hullmen. We are going to rock. We had a great rehearsal the other night (and I know the old adage about "great rehearsal -- crappy show" and I'm here to tell you that's bullshit) and I love the summer solstic anyway, and everybody loves the Circle A. So that's going to be the place to be. I know there's plenty of other interesting musical happenings that evening, but frankly, it's not in my personal self-interest to tell you about them, so I won't.
OK, that little exercise in full disclosure and journalistic ethics makes such a great segue into....
- Jessica McFreakingBride! Oh, I don't usually drop the f-bomb in this blog, but I'm sorry, I can't resist the obvious play on words with her name. Oh, I just absolutely can't resist! How'd she meet her husband, former Waukesha DA Paul Bucher? As a journalist on the job. And the way it's written everywhere, it looks like it wasn't her going into her editor's office saying, "Oh, you should probably know that I'm schtupping the DA now, so maybe you should put me on another beat." It was the newsroom finding about about this and then having to take action. And here's MM Editor Bruce Murphy (whose work I've always massively respected) saying he didn't know about Jessica's affair with the subject of a 5,000-word piece she glowingly wrote for MM. I believe him, because based on the previous behavior, it doesn't seem like Jessica handed him a manuscript saying, "Oh, and BTW, as my editor, you should probably know that, well, I've kinda fallen for this guy and while you have right of first publication of things I write about him, I've been writing a lot about him in another context, mainly love letters."
Look, everybody is calling for Ed Flynn's head, but as I've felt about other like other public officials, I only care about his job performance: is crime going down? Are our officers getting trained, compensated, disciplined correctly and fairly? I could give a rat's ass about his, erm, performance off the clock. No, it's the idea that in a time when the journalism profession is having to fight a perception of not being biased in any way (and a whole other discussion as to whether that's possible -- can we just disclose our biases and let the reader decide?), here's an journalism ethics teacher fucking not only a source, but the topic of her story. It's McBride I'm pissed at -- and my opinion that she's a right-wing blowhard that makes Mark Belling seem like a reasonable guy to isn't an issue here. I'd feel the same way if Joel MacNally was doing some female official. But McBride's taken not only her cred -- but the cred of many journalists -- down with her, during a time when we need somebody we can trust to be that true Fourth Estate, that watchdog of public money and doings. And she's blown not only her ethical cred, but her intelligence cred, too. She emailed those love letters. Does she not know that there is no such thing as privacy in e-communications? Is she really this STOOPID? Did she not think that an emailed love letter wouldn't make its way to email@example.com where the former colleagues she constantly disses are always chomping at the bit for any piece of evidence exposing her as the biased nut case that she is?
And, finally, have you read those excerpts from those letters? "But something special happened between us that night; I will always cherish it. A complete meeting on all levels - mind, body, heart that I have never experienced. You completed me that night." Oh, for cryin' out loud. Attention former, present, or future readers (even readers of my personal stuff): If I ever wrote or write drivel like this, get the gun and just shoot me. "You completed me." Oh deliver me, sweet baby Jesus, I just lost my lunch. There's just too many unemployed good writers out there for the author of this dreck to actually make a living at the craft. Oh, to have been in the newsroom while Dan Bice was at the copy machine with this!
- On a nicer note, the family headed out to the County Zoo last night for "Nights in June" further justifying our buying a zoo membership. It's a members-only event, and like many of those, its a great way to enjoy a laid back time at the zoo. Its close enought to the solstice that it's still light out to see the critters, but you don't have a hot summer sun beating down on you (like we've had a whole lot of "hot summer sun" in these parts lately). We stopped in to catch the Wings Down Under exhibit, where you buy yourself a stick of bird food, and then enter a giant cage so that the birds fly onto your stick and you can meet them close up. Way cool experience, and builds a sense of fun, repsect and wonder among the kids for the birds. Stopped by the ape house to check in with Baby Mahal, who seems to be doing quite well -- it's been a year now and he looks happy with his adopted family. And he's still adorably cute, too. Plenty of walking about to check into the other animals. Nice cheap night out with the kiddos. And a cheap treat too: they have these fundraiser root beer floats -- substantial 14 oz cups filled with vanilla ice cream mingling with cold rootbeer. They're only two bucks. I don't know how they actually raise funds with this, but hey, I'll take it.
Warning: the groundskeepers have laid fresh fertilizer on the beautiful flower beds. That's organically-produced fertilizer, if you catch my drift. Try to stay upwind for the next few days. But do catch the "Wings Down Under" exhibit, it is indeed very cool.
- Summerfest starts next week. Raise your hands if, like me, you're not all that excited, but on the other hand, wouldn't mind catching Robin Trower on opening night.