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  • Tony Fitzpatrick on the Art of Tattoo

    Tony Fitzpatrick on the Art of Tattoo

    Tattoos. There’s something mysterious and enigmatic about them. According to famed tattooer, painter, and printmaker Don Ed Hardy, “This enigma is central to the entire practice: few of us who are tattooed can formulate a pat answer as to why we do it, any more than the honest, intensely driven artist can say why he or she creates. The mystery keeps us going.” Back in 1993, before there was a tattoo parlor on every block, Hardy teamed up with Tony … Continue reading

  • 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

  • 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

  • Beijing Journal (Tiananmen Square, 1989)

    Beijing Journal (Tiananmen Square, 1989)

    25 years ago today, the protests in Tiananmen Square turned into a massacre as China’s own military turned against the protesting citizens, resulting in hundreds of civilian deaths. The struggle for democracy was summarily crushed, and in the months and years that followed, the Chinese government further strengthened its position and tightened restrictions in the country. In memory of that grave day, we present the tape “Beijing Journal,” which was recorded over the course of a few months in the … Continue reading

  • The creation of a news story

    The creation of a news story

    A day in the life of Newsday‘s Mike Waldman On assignment for THE 90′s, Washington correspondent Eddie Becker spent a day with Myron “Mike” Waldman, correspondent for Newsday‘s Washington Bureau, as he went about his job. Waldman’s assignment that day was a story about a bill for the extension of unemployment benefits, and while it may not be the most sensational topic, it provides a unique look into the day-to-day life of a journalist at the time, even when it’s … Continue reading

  • A followup to one of our favorite videos from THE 90′s

    A followup to one of our favorite videos from THE 90′s

    One of our most powerful and popular videos is this interview by Eddie Becker with his daughter, Erika Becker, recorded in 1989 when Erika was 11. She talks openly about living with cerebral palsy, including what it does, how it makes her feel, and how other people treat her because of her disability. Twenty-five years later, Erika is now a mother and fashion designer. Today, we’d like to share with you the original video and this followup video from 2012 … Continue reading