Horrible things will happen after Illinois eliminates cash bail
.. but horrible things are *already* happening. Let's give the new law a chance.
7-20-2023, (issue No. 97)
Land of Linkin’ — Where I tell readers where to go
Squaring up the news — Where Charlie Meyerson tells readers where to go
AI-yi-yi! — A grab bag of news on the artificial intelligence front
Cheerios or Honey Nut Cheerios? — The voters have spoken
Mary Schmich — What haven’t you done yet this summer that you really want to do?
Re:Tweets — Featuring the winner of the visual tweets poll and this week’s finalists
Tune of the Week — “Fast Car”
Last week’s winning tweet
If buying new underwear is evidence of an affair, my husband has been faithful for at least nine years. — @nerdreign
Keeping an open mind about the coming end of cash bail in Illinois
A state Supreme Court ruling Tuesday upheld a law passed by the General Assembly that will make Illinois the first state in the nation to eliminate cash bail.
After the prohibition goes into effect in mid-September, you can be sure that someone accused of a crime who has been set free without bail prior to trial will commit some ghastly crime.
You can be sure of that because it’s been happening all along under the cash bail system. The crime-news site CWBChicago keeps track of those “accused of shooting, killing, or trying to shoot or kill someone in Chicago … while awaiting trial for a felony.”
Judges err and will continue to err in assessing the threat to the community of certain accused persons. Here’s the Sun-Times describing how the process will work:
Prosecutors must file a request that a person be detained and make arguments on why the person should be held before trial, including whether they believe the person is a danger to the public or a flight risk.
Defense attorneys will be given more time to prepare for the hearing and will have the ability to call witnesses. A person can be held in custody until that hearing.
It will still be up to a judge to determine whether someone is held in custody or released under certain conditions, like with electronic monitoring.
It’s more than worth a try. Cash bail has the effect of criminalizing poverty, which is abhorrent and a double whammy on the dispossessed. Holding in jail those who don’t appear to be dangers to others can devastate families and harm communities in general.
In “What happens when cash bail ends in Illinois? In other states, narrower attempts have succeeded but debate goes on,” the Sun-Times’ Matthew Hendrickson reports:
Other states, red and blue, have tried limited versions of what Illinois is about to do. That has made it difficult to know exactly what to expect.
As researchers at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government found, “There are so many different approaches to bail reform and because few jurisdictions rigorously evaluate the bail reforms they have implemented, there is not a clear blueprint for what works.”
But, they added, “It is notable that none of the studies we analyzed for this report found that bail reforms led to a meaningful increase in crime.” …
A report from the Alaska Judicial Council found that, in the year the (bail) reforms were enacted, 75% of defendants were released before trial compared to 48% the previous year with “no difference in the number of rearrests before and after reform.”
But an increase in property crimes, including vehicle thefts, fueled a public uproar over the law, which came to be called “catch and release,” according to Ben Muse, a former public defender in Anchorage.
Six months later, the law was amended to give judges more discretion over bail decisions. The state “essentially went back to the old bail statute,” said Susanne DiPietro, director of the Alaska Judicial Council.
Lawmakers can and should keep a close eye on the statistics, not so much on the inevitable anecdotes. If this landmark change can be linked to a significant rise in crime, the General Assembly can always amend or rescind the law and reinstate cash bail.
Everyone should keep an open mind.
Larks and robins: I no longer think they’re for the birds
One of the things even regular readers may not know about me is that I’m a traditional dance caller — squares, circles, lines, contras. I don’t write about it much because I’m no longer particularly active. I’ve called just two dances for the Chicago Barn Dance Company this calendar year so far, whereas in the 1980s, I was calling at least twice a month.
You probably know what square dances are. Contras — also danced in couples — use many of the same moves but usually in two-couple configurations that change each time through the tune. The video below is illustrative. I shot it from the stage of the Irish American Heritage Center, where the Chicago Barn Dance Company holds its regular Monday night dances, always to live, acoustic music.
Contra dancing generally appeals to a slightly younger crowd, probably because of some of the cultural associations with square dancing — an activity occasionally forced upon schoolchildren and sometimes linked to red-state Americans and frilly costumery.
Anyway. Something you probably also know is that for generations, dance callers have used the terms “gents” and “ladies” to define the different roles traditionally danced by women and men. It’s common in the choreography for men to be doing one thing while women are doing another (see here).
But in the years just before the pandemic, many dance groups around the country began to move away from “gents” and “ladies.” Here’s an explanation from the website of a dance community in Vermont:
Gents and ladies are inherently gendered terms. Because of this, many dancers feel pressure to dance a specific role. In addition, use of this terminology implies that men are gents and women are ladies by default, which is not true. While contra dance roles were strictly gendered in the past, gents and ladies no longer describe the roles as they are in our community today.
This is not just an issue of semantics. Some members of the community find the use of gents and ladies to be awkward, exclusionary, and even hurtful. Transgender and gender non-conforming people can be particularly affected by this issue. With this switch to gender-free terms, we hope to make the Montpelier dance even more welcoming and inclusive.
I was among the callers and dancers who resisted abandoning the traditional terminology, words that served as a reminder of the deep historical roots of this kind of dancing. I resisted even though for decades it has not been unusual for men to dance with men and women to dance with women and for dancers to switch roles just for fun.
When I was at the microphone, I would offer a disclaimer similar to the one used by the legendary East Coast musician and caller David Kaynor, who died at 73 in 2021:
I am not only old, but also old-school. And so I still use the old terms, "ladies" and "gents." But I would encourage you to dance both roles if you're so inclined, and to welcome the dancing of both roles by others. So when I say "gents" or “ladies”, I'm not referring to people with specific body parts; I'm just talking about the dance role.
I viewed the suggested modifications — “ladles” and “gentlespoons,” “jets and rubies” “reds and blues,” “maples and oaks” “leads and follows,” those with bare arms and those with colored bands on their arms, as well as efforts to instruct dancers based simply by their position in the figure — as either confusing, excessively earnest or both.
“Larks and ravens” temporarily surged in popularity, with larks being the replacement term for gents since it starts with an L and the gents usually dance on the left (L) side of their partner. “Larks” also has just one syllable so it can easily be dropped into old sing-song calls.
Ravens dance mostly on the right (R), and the word has the same number of syllables as “ladies.”
But, speaking of excessively earnest, here is a 2019 post from a member of a Boston-area dance community:
After about five years of experimentation, the community has been settling on “larks/ravens.”
Unfortunately, there's a conflict with “ravens” that we weren't aware of when choosing the term. The Tlingit people of the Pacific Northwest divide their society into two groups (moieties), one of which is “ravens.” Traditionally, marriages could only be between a raven and a non-raven.
This use of “raven” as part of a binary identity is uncomfortably close to the contra dance usage.
To me, this sort of sensitivity is so close to parody that I recoil from it. But “ravens” has now largely become “robins” in reference to the right-side role traditionally danced by ladies in square and contra dances in the more enlightened dance communities around the country. And, as yet, no one has located a marginalized group that uses these avian terms in a gendered way.
I remained a grumpy holdout for “gents” and “ladies” until earlier this month when I had an immersive “larks and robins” dance experience at a traditional music and dance camp in Tennessee. All the staff callers used those terms exclusively. After a day or two, I found it easy to adapt — first translating the words in my mind, then effortlessly remembering who was who.
Yes, the new terminology snips a thread to the past that’s important to me. I like the fact that these dance forms are hundreds of years old, even though most of the dances themselves have been composed during the revival period of the last 50 years or so. “Gents and ladies” is redolent of that past.
But more important to me — and what drew me to this form of social dance when I was a teenager and attracts me to this day — is how inclusive it is. Kids, seniors, experienced dancers and newbies are all welcome and invited to partake of the joy of movement to the music with one another without the sometimes portentous romantic implications of other forms of dance.
And if this new terminology is implicitly more welcoming to nonbinary people and gay people, then that gain for them and for the community more than offsets the loss of certain traditional terms. Plus it’s just good manners not to use words that are unnecessarily exclusionary and even divisive.
News & Views
News: Yet another criminal indictment of former President Donald Trump appears imminent.
View: Conventional wisdom as well as current polling suggests the more Trump is indicted, the more he looks like a martyr and the stronger he becomes. That’s almost certainly true among his hard-core supporters.
But in the end, there are too many sensible independent voters out there who may feel attracted to some of Trump’s policies and plans but who simply can’t stomach the idea of four more years of narcissistic craziness in the White House. What doesn’t kill him politically will, in fact, weaken him.
News: The north suburban village of Lake Bluff denied the staggeringly wealthy Uihlein family a two-year exemption from a local regulation that bans the use of gas-powered leaf blowers on private property from mid-May to the end of September.
View: The Uihleins throw tens of millions of dollars at Republican candidates, so why not some tiny fraction of that amount to lawn-care workers to rake up the leaves by hand on their 22-acre estate?
News: Larry Snelling, a finalist for Chicago police superintendent, has “been suspended at least twice over his long career.”
View: Unless there is a convincing argument that these suspensions were for trifling matters or misunderstandings — an argument we’ve not yet heard — my guess is that Mayor Brandon Johnson is not going to court controversy by appointing Snelling, the CPD’s popular chief of counterterrorism, to the top job.
The Sun-Times/WBEZ reports:
A database compiled by the Invisible Institute shows a use-of-force complaint against Snelling in 1994 triggered a two-day suspension. The following year, Snelling served a five-day suspension for conduct unbecoming. Details of both incidents were not known.
It’s odd and perhaps telling that pro-Snelling folks aren’t out in front of this story — the fact that these misdeeds were nearly 30 years ago is certainly a mitigating factor, so what are we talking about here?
I’m therefore predicting Angel Novalez, CPD’s chief of constitutional policing and reform, will get the nod over Snelling and the third finalist, Madison, Wisconsin, police Chief Shon Barnes.
News: South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott is mired in the single digits in his run for his party’s presidential nomination.
View: Scott is the inevitable Republican vice presidential nominee for 2024. He may not even know it himself yet, but that’s the office he’s running for, and he will be a real asset to the ticket.
Politico notes that Scott’s affable style and uplifting campaign message have made him the darling of donors and conservative media, but that voters in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses have “a long history of flirting with Black Republican presidential candidates — and not voting for them.”
Though there is speculation that if Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, as polls now suggest he will be, he will pick one of his wack-a-doodle allies such as last year’s Arizona gubernatorial candidate and fellow sore loser Kari Lake as his running mate, in the end he’s going to select Scott.
News: Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds rages that a court decision temporarily blocking the state’s strict new limits on abortion is part of an “attempt to thwart the will of Iowans.”
View: Reynolds is gaslighting us. Some 61% of Iowa adults recently polled by the Des Moines Register said they believed abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Meanwhile and similarly, new national polling has found that, “Overall, about two-thirds of Americans say abortion should generally be legal, but only about a quarter say it should always be legal and only about 1 in 10 say it should always be illegal.”
The new Iowa law that would effectively ban abortions past six weeks of gestation, is practically very close to a full ban.
Land of Linkin’
Video from the Finnish Hobby Horse Championships of 2023 is rocketing around social media. Take a look.
Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich spoke ill Sunday of just deceased U.S. District Judge James Zagel, who had presided over his corruption trials. So I felt it only fair to speak ill of Blago. Again. My colleagues on "The Mincing Rascals” podcast told me I need to let it go, dude, not realizing that getting agitated over small matters is kind of my thing.
Illinois places 17th overall in CNBC’s list of America's Top States for Business 2023: We rank second in the nation for infrastructure and education, but 39th for business friendliness.
Could Chicago Impose an Income Tax? Here’s What It Looks Like in Other Cities. (Illinois Answers Project) “Such an effort would surely face major hurdles, including the need to change state law.”
The Trace: “26,993 people died by gun suicide last year, accounting for 56% of all gun deaths. That’s a 2.5% jump from 2021.” In Illinois, 61% of our 1,798 gun deaths were suicides. Seems to me like a good argument for not having guns in the home.
The New York Times (gift link): The Federal Trade Commission is “proposing rules that would require companies to make it ‘at least as easy’ to cancel a subscription as it was to start it. If, for instance, you can sign up online, you must be able to cancel on the same website, in the same number of steps.” I would add to that other transparency mandates, such as the ability to see on a “my account” page online just what you’re paying and when the subscription comes due.
On Slate’s “Working” podcast, “host June Thomas talks to journalist Maureen Ryan, author of the book ‘Burn It Down: Power, Complicity, and a Call for Change in Hollywood.’ In recent years, Ryan (who used to be a Tribune critic and is now a contributing editor at Vanity Fair) has pivoted from TV criticism to reporting stories focused on abuses of power in the TV industry. … In the interview, Ryan discusses her reporting process and what it’s felt like to watch the creators of some of her favorite shows come under fire.”
The Abortion Access front runs ExposeFakeClinics.com in order to warn those experiencing crisis pregnancies away from the anti-abortion rights activists who want to lure them into the door under the false belief that their “clinics” will facilitate the termination of a pregnancy.
“Masks are out at In-N-Out after burger chain bans employees from wearing them in 5 states.” “In the memo announcing new guidelines for Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Texas and Utah workers, the fast food chain pointed to ‘the importance of customer service and the ability to show our Associates’ smiles and other facial features while considering the health and well-being of all individuals.’”
Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum writes presciently, I hope, of “The Coming Biden Blowout” in The Atlantic: An “intelligent and intentional Republican plan for 2024 … would have gone like this: (1) Replace Donald Trump at the head of the ticket with somebody less obnoxious and impulsive. (2) Capitalize on inflation and other economic troubles. (3) Offer plausible ideas on drugs, crime, and border enforcement. (4) Reassure women worried about the post-Roe future. (5) Don’t be too obvious about suppressing Democratic votes, because really blatant voter suppression will provoke and mobilize Democrats to vote, not discourage them. Unfortunately for them, Republicans have turned every element of the plan upside down and inside out.”
"Zip Code with the Swingin' Six" is a 1967 pop-folk public-service commercial for what was then called the Post Office Department to promote the use of the ZIP code.
There was a glitch in Tuesday’s Picayune Plus that prevented many people from voting in my follow-up poll on the use of the word “guys” to refer to groups or women or mixed groups. I’m trying to determine if age and/or gender influence your feelings about this burning question based on the supposition that “guys” as an all-purpose term is falling out of favor among younger people. Register your views to help test my hypothesis.
The Picayune Sentinel preview: Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. I talk with WGN-AM 720 host John Williams about what’s making news and likely to be grist for the PS mill. The WGN listen-live link is here.
Squaring up the news
This is a bonus supplement to the Land of Linkin’ from veteran radio, internet and newspaper journalist Charlie Meyerson. Each week, he offers a selection of intriguing links from his daily email news briefing Chicago Public Square: (which is taking a break for a few days this week):
■ Sorry about that Fox News thing. In a joint statement published to the web, three veteran television executives “express their deep disappointment for helping to give birth to Fox Broadcasting Company and Fox Television that came to include Fox News Channel—the channel that prominently includes news that … ‘no reasonable person would believe.’”
”■ iPhone urgency. ZDNET explains how and why to update your iGadgets now to avert real-life security threats.
■ The Guardian: As global heat records tumble, Big Oil’s quietly walking back its climate pledges.
■ New York gossip site Page Six says a Robert F. Kennedy presidential campaign dinner “descended into a foul bout of … polemic farting” as “two boisterous old men” argued about the climate.
■ ‘A dangerous nutcase.’ Columnist Robert Reich on Kennedy Jr.’s Democratic presidential campaign: “I knew Robert F. Kennedy, and you’re no Robert F. Kennedy.”
■ The Cubs will pay tribute to late WXRT DJ Lin Brehmer Aug. 19—which would have been his 69th birthday.
■ Square faces an existential crisis with adoption of the name “Public Square” by a conservative-friendly shopping app that reportedly has cut a seven-figure ad deal to advertise on Tucker Carlson’s Twitter show. (But we all know who was there first, right?)
You can (and should) subscribe to Chicago Public Square free here.
First, this is amazingly good and hilarious. The computer-generated Johnny Cash voice is close to spot on, and the mashup with “Folsom Prison Blues” is excellent.
The voice is more eerily similar to the original than the AI version of Elvis Presley singing “Baby Got Back” to the tune of “Don’t Be Cruel.”
Next, this is creepy and ominous: A 30-second commercial for Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis that uses the AI-generated voice of Donald Trump to make it sound as though he spoke words that he merely tweeted.
The Trump-generated voice in the … ad does not sound entirely natural. Still, the spot highlights what could be the next frontier of campaign advertising: The use of AI-generated content to produce increasingly difficult to identify, so-called deepfakes.
Just so. The pace of technological change makes it inevitable that the faked voices will sound increasingly natural, and it’s a short step from AI generating Trump’s actual words to AI generating Trump saying something even more offensive, polarizing or dangerous than what he actually says. Totally plausible video will follow.
Meanwhile, there’s this:
The Associated Press and OpenAI have reached an agreement to share access to select news content and technology as they examine potential use cases for generative AI in news products and services. … The collaboration builds upon AP’s efforts over nearly a decade to use automation to make its journalism more effective, as well as help local news outlets integrate the technology into their operations.
They might say, ‘Make me a movie that’s similar to Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible.” However, make sure that none of the synthetic actors can be mistaken for known actors and make sure that we’re not going to get sued, but let’s go right up to the line.’ That’s not quite feasible today, but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be. It’s just math. And we can do it.” — Jaron Lanier, “the father of AI”
A Tribune editorial this week says:
On the matter of AI, we’re firmly on the side of the humans: The pernicious potential of AI, both with word and image, needs controls, and it needs them fast. Politicians need to be considering this, too, especially given the speed with which the field is moving. … And just because AI could write this editorial, kind of, that does not mean it should be allowed to do so. Humans have to stand with humans.
I’m fretting about this, too, but I sense that history will ultimately lump the “AI must be reined in!” crowd with the folks who tried to stand athwart the tide of history with the printing press, the automobile, the phonograph, television, the internet and so on.
The technology to detect and manage AI fakery needs somehow to keep pace with the growth of AI itself, a growth that’s international and pretty obviously unstoppable.
Three weeks ago, I sputtered and fumed about the $9.99 price on a box of Great Grains cereal at my local Jewel. Now I am exulting confusedly about the $3.99 price for the same amount of cereal.
Jewel’s parent company did not respond to my query about cereal pricing — what could account for this enormous discrepancy? — so I will leave you with the thought that you are clearly a fool if you don’t minimize the importance of your preferences and instead shop sales in the cereal aisle.
Speaking of your preferences, the click-poll results are in from the final round of my elimination tournament to pick readers’ favorite cereal. You winnowed 30 entries down to two, and after nearly 700 votes were tallied, plain Cheerios walloped Honey Nut Cheerios.
The check mark reflects my vote for the sweeter variety — it’s good on its own and also good mixed with, say, shredded wheat or other less flavored cereals — but this result speaks for itself:
Mary Schmich: What haven’t you done yet this summer that you really want to do?
My former colleague Mary Schmich posts occasional column-like entries on Facebook. Here, reprinted with permission, is her most recent offering:
Several times in the past few days I've been in stores that feature big promotions for calendars.
Wait. What? 2024? We're only halfway through 2023.
But there's a human tendency--abetted by marketers--to fast forward through life, to think about the future rather to fully register the present.
One of the greatest disciplines--the greatest wisdoms--is to live in the day, the hour, the moment.
Those 2024 calendar promotions seem to contradict that truth. But look at it another way: The 2024 calendars are actually a reminder of how fleeting the day is. A reminder to live this time, this summer, NOW.
So what's something you want to do this summer that you haven't done yet?
I once wrote a column on the value of summer resolutions and this line still rings true: I’ve heard it said that any summer resolution you haven’t kept by the Fourth of July is one you won’t keep. I disagree. I once planted flowers on Labor Day, knowing they’d be soon be dead. Short pleasure is better than no pleasure at all.
So here in the middle of July 2023, think about something you want to do this summer, that will make the summer feel fully like summer before it vanishes.
One thing. Name it. Do it.
And feel free to share it here. Resolving out loud tightens the resolve!
Mine--as it often is--is to get in water. To swim.
There's still time. — Mary Schmich
I’m the guest host this week! Check out the chum chat with Brandon Pope, Jon Hansen and me about cash bail, my perhaps unhealthy lingering obsession with G-Rod and the continuing problems at Northwestern in the new episode of “The Mincing Rascals” podcast. Subscribe to us wherever you get your podcasts. Or bookmark this page. If you’re not a podcast listener, you can hear an edited version of the show at 8 p.m. most Saturday evenings on WGN-AM 720.
In Tuesday’s paid-subscriber editions, I present my favorite tweets that rely on visual humor. Subscribers vote for their favorite, and I post the winner here every Thursday:
This was actually a screen shot curated from Facebook. Pickings are getting slimmer and slimmer over at Twitter, where ad revenue has dropped by half, and some of the wits I rely on have gone silent.
Still, I found a good batch of new nominees for Tweet of the Week:
That’s exactly what someone who did start the fire would say. — @benedictsred
“The heart wants what the heart wants.”“That’s just repeating the same phrase twice.”“It is what it is.”“Stop doing that!”“Ok. Enough is enough.” — @RickAaron
No greater betrayal than a rogue eyelash. How could you? The very eyeball that you swore to protect. — @SJKSalisbury
Tony the Tiger: I mean, they are great. or at least pretty good. It's cereal right? How good can it be? I'm not picking it over a fresh antelope or anything. — @SvnSxty
Most people think Johnson was the brains behind Johnson & Johnson. But they’re wrong. It was Johnson. — @dmc1138
Where do I leave a review for geese? I’ve got feedback — @Angel_squeezy
No, baby. This time I'm Mike Pence and you're Mother. — @ThisLocalHater
We do this not because it is easy, but because we thought it would be easy. — Unknown
By replacing your morning coffee with green tea you can lose up to 87% of what little joy you still have left in your life. — @golubeerji
At the grocery store some old lady seemed like she was hitting on me. Turns out we went to school together. — @fozzie4prez
Tune of the Week
I present “Fast Car” today because the song has been in the news (and is a great one). First, the 1988 original from Tracy Chapman, who wrote it:
It reached. No. 6 on the Billboard charts and won the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance along with Chapman’s award as Best New Artist. Many others have performed and recorded it in the intervening years (including Justin Bieber), but a recent version from country star Luke Combs has become bigger than the original.
(Combs’ cover has) out-peaked Chapman's version's No. 6 slot on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 2 and climbed all the way up to No. 1 on the Billboard U.S. Country Airplay chart.
In The Washington Post, entertainment writer Emily Yahr wrote that Combs’ superseding success has “prompted a wave of complicated feelings among some listeners and in the Nashville music community.”
Although many are thrilled to see “Fast Car” back in the spotlight and a new generation discovering Chapman’s work, it’s clouded by the fact that, as a Black queer woman, Chapman, 59, would have almost zero chance of that achievement herself in country music.
Yahr has been thoroughly dragged on Twitter by those who feel she downplayed the success of Chapman’s original recording — she did not mention Chapman’s Grammys, for instance — and implied that country music fans are racist in an effort to increase tensions. I didn’t read Yahr’s piece that way — and the general whiteness of country music is hard to deny. Yahr wrote:
A recent study by data journalist Jan Diehm and musicologist Jada Watson reported that fewer than 0.5 percent of songs played on country radio in 2022 were by women of color and LGBTQ+ artists. … Rolling Stone reported that Chapman, who wrote “Fast Car” by herself, is now the only Black woman to ever have a solo writing credit on a No. 1 country song.
The indigati on Twitter who considered such observations to be irrelevant and inflammatory, were having none of it:
Chapman is evidently thrilled at Combs’ success, telling Billboard in a statement, “I never expected to find myself on the country charts, but I’m honored to be there. I’m happy for Luke and his success and grateful that new fans have found and embraced ‘Fast Car.’” The magazine reported that Chapman will earn hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties off the Combs version, which is so faithful to the original that Combs sings the lyric, “I work in the market as a checkout girl.”
I remember when we were driving, driving in your car Speed so fast it felt like I was drunk City lights lay out before us And your arm felt nice wrapped ’round my shoulder And I-I had a feeling that I belonged I-I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone
For August 10 — the 100th issue of the Thursday Picayune Sentinel — I will be featuring reader submissions/suggestions for the Tune of the Week. I ask you to nominate a song — one song — that's particularly meaningful for you, the one song you'd like to share. This springs out of an experience I had about 20 years ago when I was guest-newsman-for-a-day at WXRT and they gave me the opportunity to play just one song.
All I really need is a YouTube link, but I'd like it if you could write at least a few lines about yourself — who you are, your place in life, etc., and why you chose that song, what it means to you, what you know about it or the artist.
The Picayune Sentinel is a reader-supported publication. Browse and search back issues here. Simply subscribe to receive new posts each Thursday. To support my work, receive bonus issues on Tuesdays and join the zesty commenting community, become a paid subscriber. Thanks for reading!