Category Archives: Community

Workshops on Racism: Are They Really Effective?

In present day society, racism is playing a major role in how we look at the world. For the U.S., it has spun into several groups to arise from Black Lives Matter or White Nationalist. Because of this, there have been many debates about racism and inequality that sometimes become extremely violent.  Columbia College Chicago decided to do something about it by creating a five-year strategic plan to undo racism, according to the Columbia Chronicle. The institution started a series of workshops in August to bring awareness to racial issues and discuss them and will continue them throughout the year. I think what Columbia is attempting to do is great but, there are several problems with these plans and how they can affect students and staff on campus.

 

First Off, You Cannot Undo Racism

This was the initial issue I saw with the program. Knowing the goal of the workshops is very important and Columbia is already exemplifying that they don’t really have one. The U.S. entire existence stems from racism and oppression and unless you have a time machine, there is no undoing it. Bringing awareness to the issues and moving forward by understanding is what the program should be geared towards. If awareness is the message being conveyed, then I understand but, if the outcome is to undo racism, this program will go on forever and see no progress.

 

Racism Doesn’t Stop At Teachers

When looking more into the program, I came across who were able to attend these workshops. The sessions are only open to full-time and part-time faculty. This excludes all students who attend the institution. Staff will be able to take what they’ve learned in the workshops and apply within the classroom. There is no explanation to why it excludes students but, it does. This strategy does not benefit the institution because it eliminates the main component, the students. If the program cannot offer opportunities for everyone because anyone can be involved in situations of racism, there is no purpose for it.

 

This Is A Blatant “Covering Our Ass” Situation

Earlier this year, Michael Fry, associate professor within the Television Department, resigned from Columbia College Chicago due to racial discrimination within the department he worked. The college newspaper shared his experiences as he talks about facing over ten years of discrimination. It seems very coincidental that Columbia creates this program several months later. Is this program really here to help or a way to protect the college? I think if racism was really at the forefront of the institution, this plan would have been in the works years ago not right after a race incident surface on campus. As stated earlier, it’s only offered to faculty completely disregarding students which would be ineffective to creating awareness on campus. There was a workshop offered in August but only a selected few students were able to attend, according to Columbia Chronicle. Only a select few does not change the dynamics of racism and certainly don’t undo it.

I’m all for bringing awareness to racism and trying to eliminate it on campus however, provide that opportunity to everyone and have clear and possible goals.

 

 

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Gwyneth Paltrow kidnaps local comic; offers life advice

Academy award-winning actress and all around model X/Y humanoid Gwyneth Paltrow was in the Windy City this past weekend. However rather than hit the Magnificent Mile for tarte de pomme and posturing as originally planned, the actress instead found herself in a bizarre stand-off/motherly intervention with the local comedy scene after Paltrow kidnapped a local comic, hijacked his Facebook account and began offering life advice.

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Chicago comedian Tyler Jackson just before the abduction occurred.

What began as a chance meeting and friendly handshake between Paltrow and comedian Tyler Jackson, 26, who co-produces the monthly comedy showcase Late Late Breakfast, escalated quickly sources said. Witnesses claimed the abduction took place in a matter of seconds – in plain view of police officers – outside the NFL draft on Michigan Avenue.

Worried friends were shocked to see Jackson pop up on Facebook shortly after. “We thought he was a goner,”said Liz Maupin spouse of Danny Maupin, who together make up the rest of the Late Late Breakfast team. Their relief was short-lived however as the clearly unapologetic and brazen Paltrow began offering her services as a life-coach-food-blogger to Jackson’s social media network.

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“I thought she was taunting us,” said a dumbfounded Liz Maupin, “But she answered all the questions.” Topics ranged from advice about pets, child rearing, and even celebrity dating. Liz and Danny Maupin say they became suspicious when Jackson began randomly quoting Paltrow on social media. “When I saw he was awake at 8:30am, I knew something was up,” Danny Maupin said.

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 11.37.38 PMThe following day police had still not been able to locate the actress. Although unable to comment officially, an officer who asked to remain anonymous suggested a possible motive. “Ever since Facebook started requiring real names we’ve seen a ton of celebrities kidnapping normal people to use their profiles.” The officer claimed, “When you name your kid ‘Basket’ or ‘Dreidle’, Facebook thinks you’re making a fake profile so [they’re] doing it for their kids.” We reached out to Facebook for comment but did not receive a response prior to press time. Many believe that Jackson is still in Paltrow’s custody.

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Police have asked that anyone with information contact local authorities.

To stay up to date on all the silliness going on in the Chicago comedy scene, tune in to Backstage Chatter – Wednesdays’s @ 8pm on WCRX 88.1FM 

In the meantime, here are more highlight’s from Tyler Jackson’s day as Gwyneth, SCROLL ON!

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4 Comedians To See Before They Leave Chicago Forever

For years the proving ground of stand ups, improvisers and Saturday Night Live hopefuls, Chicago is an unparalleled place to take in a fart joke.

This guy needs heckling so hard.
Perhaps over cocktails

This city however, is afflicted with an age-old curse: Like a small town quarterback until he’s scouted by the NFL, as soon as the city’s’ performers start to hit their stride, they’re wooed away by sexy Vegas, New York, or L.A.  – and these four are getting hit on harder than a foreign exchange student with a tinder account. The answer is simple Chicago. If you don’t want these talented people to skip town, GO SEE THEM!

So – as a public service mind you – I offer these humble suggestions for people you should not miss seeing unless gravely wounded. Your city is counting on you.


1. Adam Burke

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Although not a Chicago native, Adam Burke has had no trouble fitting into Chicago’s dense and clicky comedy community and hasn’t compromised his style in the process. He’s not afraid to get political, even while explaining why political comedy “is dead.” He’s also smart. Here’s a clip of him standing up for dumbness at the comedy debate show Arguments and Grievances.

Later in the show he burst into song to expel the virtues of brainless-ness.

IMG_0209Without a doubt, Adam has one of the strongest voices in the city. He announced his plans to move to L.A. a few months ago and has been getting booked like crazy ever since. I suggest you check him out before it’s some other city doing the bragging.


2. Jamie Campbell

IMG_0207Jamie is a one man work horse of comedy. He does stand up, hosts the Talk Hard podcast, as well as open mics and showcases all over the city, and has pioneered original shows like “Spiked Punch” – a comedy competition in the vein of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Crossed with the nostalgic immaturity of the Nickelodeon Slime Bucket.

His first comedy album “Tell Me You’re Proud Of Me” debuted at the top spot on Amazon and Jamie announced plans to head West soon after.IMG_0206

Here are a few samples of the album that did it:

 The Weirdest Gift Ever

Tell Me You’re Proud Of Me

But good news for those who want a last peek, Jamie will be back in Chicago for a second season of “Spiked Punch” this summer.


3. Sean White

IMG_0204While official plans to leave Chicago haven’t been announced, I suspect Sean White is pulling a Hilary Clinton. If the last few months have been any indication, the announcement is bound to be coming soon. He recently recorded his debut album “Dead & Gone” which is one of the most impressive debuts I’ve EVER heard. Dealing primarily with death and divorce, the album covers Sean’s experiences losing multiple members of his family while also separating from his wife, which despite sounding incredibly depressing, in Sean’s hands is one of the most hilarious and original hours of comedy in a long time.

Dead & Gone releases May 12th and you can pre-order a copy here. Easily one of the best writers in the city, make sure you see this guy while you still can.

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4. Ian Abramson


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– Okay, so Ian’s already gone. But he’s coming back. The man of hand made Sharpy mustaches, hilarious wordplay and just unparalleled “Abramsonn-ess” will be in Chicago May 28th. If you haven’t had a chance to experience what that means, I’ll try my best to put it into perspective: Ian wouldn’t be out-of-place in an Adult Swim cartoon or as a sexier version of your weird uncle. Shortly before leaving Chicago he even held a wedding and got married to his career.

On May 28th, Ian will be back in Chicago for a one-off production of his brain child “7 Minutes In Purgatory” at the onion A.V. Club.

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“Purgatory” is a one of a kind show where comics perform their material in a sound proof booth completely isolated from the audience’s reactions. It’s weird, uncomfortable and totally hilarious. If you missed it while it was still Chicago’s darling, do yourself a favor and get in on the fun.

Mark this one on your calendars! Pre-sale tickets are already sold out but you can still get some at the door.

Tune in to Backstage Chatter Wednesday’s @ 8pm on WCRX 88.1FM and learn how to be the change you want to see – in your comedy scene