Recent Media Burn Archive blogs

  • Municipal Mirth: Chicago’s Neighborhood Festivals, 1979

    Municipal Mirth: Chicago’s Neighborhood Festivals, 1979

    Neighborhood festivals are synonymous with summer here in Chicago. Every weekend, you can find multiple festivals going on all over the city, and while they may vary greatly in terms of size and scope, each one showcases the distinct culture and atmosphere of its respective neighborhood. In 1979, Mayor Jane Byrne’s plan to cancel ChicagoFest, which had been started the previous year by her predecessor, Mayor Michael Bilandic, was met with public outcry. As a result, Byrne not only decided … Continue reading

  • Whose Promised Land?

    Whose Promised Land?

    In 2009, the first Media Burn video blog showcased The West Bank: Whose Promised Land?, a thirty minute documentary from 1983 by Israeli-born New York videomaker Esti Galili Marpet. With the frightening daily escalation of conflict in that region, we wanted to look again at ordinary Israelis and Palestinians who each claim ancestral ownership of the West Bank. In a way, our blog has become an archive of its own, no less poignant five years later.   WEST BANK: WHOSE … Continue reading


newest videos

  • MJ Epilogue

    02:24 What’s changed for Michael since 1996? “Well, pretty much everything–I’ve changed cars, I’ve changed place of residence, I’ve changed from part-time to full-time, I’m a grandfather now. Just changed my whole frame of mind.” 03:29 Michael updates us on his family. His daughter Daisy had a baby girl in December. “She’s beautiful. She looks just like me!” 04:35 “I’m still doing the same regimen everyday: go home and work out a little bit, play at the gym sometimes. This … Continue reading

  • [Election Night at Tsongas Illinois]

    00:00 Footage of a preliminary hearing for the David Duke presidential campaign, whose place on the Illinois ballot was contested. 03:00 Dawn Larson, organizer of a petition to put David Duke on the ballot in Illinois, talks about her efforts to a reporter. “So you think that anyone who wants to run for president of the United States should be allowed to run?” “Absolutely.” She then talks about inconsistencies in the primary system, and points out that New Hampshire and … Continue reading

  • Bill Goes to San Diego: Tape 3

    00:16 A crowd chants “We Back Jack!” while carrying posters of the Jack-in-the-Box mascot. A man in the crowd explains that they support Jack-in-the-Box, not Jack Kemp; a woman says that they are are just having fun, and not making a statement about the Convention. 02:33 A man wearing a “Ditch the Bitch” t-shirt (in “honor” of Hillary Clinton) attests that Elizabeth Dole “is a great gal, an all-American woman.” 14:15  Bill meets with a professional clown working the convention … Continue reading

  • Bill Goes to San Diego: Tape 1

    00:00 Footage of an installation of Langston Hughes’ “Dream Deferred” at a trolley station in San Diego. 01:13 Environmentalists and surfers rally on Ocean Beach for the Surfrider Foundation’s “Paddle for Clean Water” charity event, held in August 1996 on the eve of the Republican National Convention. 07:56 Surfers just out of the water talk to Bill about pollution: “Watch what you throw out, and be aware that everything that you do throw out ends up in the ocean.” 10:23 … Continue reading

  • [Joan Jett Blakk at C.I.S.P.E.S. Benefit]

    00:00 Joan Jett Blakk puts on false eyelashes and talks to Bill Stamets about the speech he plans to give later at the event. “I’m gonna talk off the top of my head but I’ll tell ya–what’s going on in El Salvador is not funny. I can’t make a joke about it. So I’m gonna make a joke about the C.I.A.–it’s easier to make a joke about the C.I.A.” 00:53  Stamets asks if Blakk plans to use the event to … Continue reading

  • Is soccer un-American?

    Is soccer un-American?

    Today, tens of thousands of Americans filled up places like Soldier Field in Chicago to watch the USA team in a World Cup Soccer game (futbol match). It wasn’t always like that. Until the 1980s, soccer was on the way back burner and FOOTBALL was king. The US has played in the World Cup continuously only since 1990. Some resent its growth. This week, controversial conservative columnist Ann Coulter called soccer “foreign…like the metric system…and it’s not catching on,” basing … Continue reading

  • Kennedy Women: Construction workers on the Kennedy Expressway, 1993

    Kennedy Women: Construction workers on the Kennedy Expressway, 1993

    Construction season is upon us again, and the Kennedy Expressway is about to get hit with some serious lane closures over the next few weekends, with the first round starting this evening. It’s part of the project to replace Ontario Street Bridge, and it’s expected to cause major traffic disruptions. The frustration of road construction is nothing new to Chicagoans, but we often don’t spend much time thinking about the people on the other side of the orange cones. That’s … Continue reading

  • Tom Geoghegan interview

    Interviewed by Tony Judge Continue reading