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Jonathan Suttin

What does Jonathan have to say?

Posts from April 2013


A Different Patton Inspires Us After Boston Tragedy
I often get annoyed with Facebook posts because there are no editors.  Not every thought we have is brilliant or even should be shared.  However, there was quite an inspirational piece written by comedian Patton Oswalt yesterday on his Facebook page.  I've always been a big fan of comedian Patton Oswalt.  Some of his stand-up material is a little crude, but he's quite clever.  Here's what he had to say about the events yesterday in Boston:

Boston. Fucking horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, "Well, I've had it with humanity."

But I was wrong. I don't know what's going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here's what I DO know. If it's one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will."

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Locations: Boston
People: Patton OswaltPaul Kozlowski


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Excuse Me I Have to Tinikle
It seems like once every few months Kitty casually mentions something that I can't believe is real.  Today she talked about tinikling in gym class as a kid.  Tinikling? I thought she was joking, but apparently it's some sort of dance using bamboo poles.  It started in the Phillipines and some how made it all the way to Stevens Point.

As usual, I thought she was making it up or just plain crazy.  However, several listeners called to back Kitty up as they tinikled as well.

I only remember playing dodgeball and trying to complete the Presidential Fitness Program (I never could do more than one or two pull-ups) in gym class.

I wonder if my son Joshua will have to tinikle one day as well.

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Topics: Human Interest
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People: Joshua


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Roger Ebert Was More Than Movies
Even though I don’t live in Chicago anymore, I have this sense of pride when it comes to anything connected to that city.  I marvel at how the “City of Broad Shoulders” has a huge influence on the world when it comes to architecture, music, politics and most importantly people.

I love that when Mick Jagger was just a kid his goal was to gather up enough money to travel from England to Chicago so he could record at Chess Studios.  More importantly, I love the number of people from Chicago who have made a huge imprint on the world.  One of them is Roger Ebert.
 
As a kid, I remember watching Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert on PBS.  The movie review show eventually went national and Ebert is the first person you think of when it comes to movie reviews. 

Kitty and I had a chance to interview him a few years ago when he came to Madison.  It was a quick phone interview, but he was sure to ask us our names and address us as Jonathan and Kitty throughout the interview.  That may not sound like a big deal, but it makes a huge difference to the listener.  Ebert made it sound like we were old friends.
   
One of the things I respect most about Ebert was his will to live and create.  When he was diagnosed with cancer, he had to have his jaw removed and could no longer eat or speak.  A lot of people would have called it quites at the point.  Not Ebert.  In fact, it gave him more material.  Ebert continued to review movies, but also wrote about his medical challenges.  Just a few days ago Ebert wrote about taking a break, but said he would be back with even more material.  It appears Ebert was not afraid of death.  He once said, “I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state…I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter.  You can’t say it wasn’t interesting.”

Maybe he really knew he was on his way out.  Ebert titled his last column “A leave of presence”.   That’s such a graceful way of describing it.  Ebert may no longer be physically present anymore, but he’ll always be here.


On a random side note, the cab driver in this show opening used to work at my father's pharmacy.
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Why The Stones Are Still The Best
The Rolling Stones are setting out on a mini-tour this spring.   Make fun of these guys all you want, I think they’re still amazing after 50 years together.  One thing that makes this band so special is how seriously they take their work.

In a recent interview with Chicago Tribune Rock Critic Greg Kot, Mick Jagger talked about how the band still practices!  Here’s what he said:

Everyone had a really good time in the five shows before Christmas.  We wanted to see how the band was playing, how people were reacting.  We didn’t get much moaning or complaining. What was quite good is that we set a small goal.  We rehearsed for a long time, as if we were doing 100 gigs.

The Stones practiced and practiced as if they were doing 100 gigs!  They’re the Stones.  They probably could just go up on stage and wing it.  The fact  they practiced is just one of many reasons they are a great model not only for musicians, but for all of us when it comes to giving our best performance.

Click here to read Greg Kot’s entire interview with Mick.
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Another Year, Another Picture with Southpaw
There are some traditions that get better year by year and then some that get a little more ridiculous each year.  I think my tradition of taking a picture with the Chicago White Sox mascot, Southpaw probably falls under the latter. 

Every April I make it to the South Side of Chicago for the very first game of the year.  I meet the same group of guys and we always talk about our concerns for the upcoming season. 

Before the game, I walk into the White Sox merchandise store to see all the new designs in sweatshirts, hats, jackets and jerseys.  I always think about buying a jersey, but then change my mind when I see the 3 digit price tag. 

I always have a hot dog with grilled onions and usually an ice cream cone.  This year it was so cold at the park, I skipped the hot dog and went boneless chicken wings instead.  Not sure, why 38 degree temperatures changed my main course, but not the dessert.

The Sox won the game, which they've done the last six seasons.  Hopefully that tradition will continue.




 
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