Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Tuesday, October 3

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

The Mechanics

Pop Culture Fri Jan 17 2014

Chicago Says Hell No to Revenge Porn Kingpin Hunter Moore

By Fruzsina Eordogh

Hunter Moore, the most well-known face of revenge porn and consequently the "most hated man on the Internet," just had his DJ gig at Lincoln Hall canceled after public outcry on Twitter and Facebook.

"In spite of an outside promoter's announcement, we never booked or confirmed a lineup for the Feb 15 event. Hunter Moore will not be appearing at Lincoln Hall," wrote the venue in a statement on their Facebook page. Party planners Porn and Chicken had originally booked Moore. Lincoln Hall was unreachable for official comment on Friday.

Continue reading this entry »

Mechanics / Comments (9)

Pop Culture Thu Feb 02 2012

The Colbert Report Gets Interrupted

Ameena Matthews, one of the "violence interrupters" featured in the documentary The Interrupters, was on "The Colbert Report" Wednesday night. No matter what you thought of the film or the effectiveness of CeaseFire's mission, it's clear that Matthews is a force to be reckoned with. The Interrupters will be broadcast on PBS's "Frontline" on Feb. 14.

Andrew Huff

Blagojevich Thu Dec 08 2011

Don't Bad-Apple Blagojevich

A familiar trope in the wake of a high-profile institutional failure, whether private or public, is the suggestion or outright assertion that the disaster was the fault of a lone gunman, a "bad apple" whose actions shouldn't be allowed to spoil how we view the rest of the bunch. Messrs. Cheney and Wolfwitz rolled out this cliché when the horrors of Abu Ghraib surfaced. We were told that Enron was, similarly, an outlier of financial fraud, rather than emblematic of how regulatory schemes (or the lack thereof) are too often purchased in what Greg Palast has called "the best democracy money can buy." In the wake of a major environmental disaster the prompts for the "bad apple" defense are sometimes audible. And, of course, when an official misbehaves, others in the arena are always ready with the singular-fruit metaphor.

Continue reading this entry »

Jeff Smith

Pop Culture Mon Nov 01 2010

The Neo-Futurists' New Obama Portrait

Neofuturists Obama Presidential Portrait UnveilingThe hallway into the interior of the Neo-Futurarium in Andersonville is known as the Hall of Presidents, and it has just undergone a renovation in anticipation of the unveiling of the official portrait of our latest president, Barack Obama. On Thursday, Oct. 28, the theater held a gala to announce the winning portrait out of a field of 32, and to auction off the rest as a fundraiser.

The winning portrait, "Magnetic Personality" by Jen Ellison & Dave Stinton, is an oversized "Wooly Willy"-style game featuring Obama's face and the legend "Yes you can -- add hair and mustaches with this magic wand" below a caricature of the 44th president. Small examples of hair configurations show Obama as Abraham Lincoln, an angel and Hitler, a witty commentary on the wide range of opinions people have of him.

The portrait took its place this weekend in the Hall of Presidents, just inside and on the left of the door.

Andrew Huff

Chicago Tue Apr 27 2010

Wobblies Return to Chicago

A new tenant has moved in to a street level office space on Irving Park. Driving past the office past dark, you can see a neon sign in the window that reads "IWW." On closer inspection a number of fliers and posters are tapped up to the windows, letting passer-by's know about upcoming rallies and benefit concerts. The Industrial Workers of the World have returned to Chicago, where under the leadership of a new General Secretary Treasurer, they hope to revitalize their organization and the labor movement.

The Industrial Workers of the World, or as they are often called, the Wobblies, were founded in 1905 in Chicago. The first industrial union, they allowed women, minorities, immigrants, skilled and unskilled workers to join. The IWW was always radical, calling for a society where "from each according to their ability and to each according to their need," was a reality.

The Wobblies led successful fights in the early 20th century, organizing seamstresses and lumberjacks and leading free speech fights throughout the country. However in the Red Scare of 1919, the wobblies became a target. Many members were deported, jailed or intimidated by the FBI. For decades the IWW was a shadow of its former self. The radicalism of the 1960's gave the group some life, but since then the IWW has remained a small group which many claimed resembled a labor history club more than a real union. That most members didn't even have contracts with their employers, but were individual dues paying members, didn't help.

However in the last decade the wobblies have watched their membership rolls increase. The 1999 protests in Seattle against the World Trade Organization seem to have awakened a generation of young people to labor issues and the war in Iraq seems to have radicalized them.

Continue reading this entry »

Matt Muchowski / Comments (3)

Chicago Tue Feb 09 2010

Sold Out Premiere of Disturbing the Universe Impresses Chicago Crowd

On Jan. 22, William Kuntsler: Disturbing the Universe, a documentary about the legendary left-wing lawyer, premiered to a sold out crowd at the Siskel Film Center in Chicago. Directed by William Kuntsler's daughters Emily and Sarah Kuntsler, the film looks at the life and cases of one of America's most controversial lawyers.

William Kuntsler fathered Sarah and Emily late in life, and when he died, they were still young, so the movie became a way for them to know their father in a more adult way. It became a way for them to shed the simple childlike images of their father, and come to know him in a complex way.

The sold out Chicago premiere was hosted by the Next Gen, the young lawyers group of the Chicago chapter of the radical National Lawyers Guild. The theater was filled with activists, lawyers and law students. The amazing thing about the showing was how many people in the crowd had met or knew William Kuntsler.

National Lawyers Guild Next Gen members Sarah Gelsomino and Robert Luderman at the Chicago premiere of Disturbing the Universe.

Continue reading this entry »

Matt Muchowski

Op-Ed Thu Dec 17 2009

Jimmy Buffett as an Opiate for the Masses

As a McCarthy, it is in my blood to hate communism. Don't you dare try to tell me that my blood is red, you commie bastards! My blood looks like God Bless America and nothing else. What? That sentence didn't make sense? Not to a communist it doesn't. (I'm looking at you, Ramsin)

I recently witnessed the communists' secret weapon of mass destruction - a poison that has infected our very culture - and I'm here to expose it for what it is. This is the key to truly subduing the proletariat. Worried about the bourgeois coming to the realization that this life is the ultimate exercise in absurd mediocrity? Take a hint from us capitalists and simply give them a taste of this wonderful, pseudo-Floridian opiate.

Continue reading this entry »

Conor McCarthy / Comments (7)

GB store


Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...


Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

Special Series

Classroom Mechanics Oral History Project
GB store

About Mechanics

Mechanics is the politics section of Gapers Block, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints and beliefs of Chicagoans and Illinoisans. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Mike Ewing,
Mechanics staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15