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Category: Video

Check out this awesome archival footage of U of I from the 1930’s

In celebration of U of I's 150th year, the University has started up the Mapping History of Illinois project to show the founding and builiding of the Unviersity. Courtesy of the project, U of I archives has released an amazing video showing aerial shots of campus circa 1934:


The footage shows campus from rooftops and showcases buldings such as Foellinger Auditorium, the now demolished University Hall, and more. 

Some screenshots from the footage:

For more information on the video and to read more about the project as a whole, check out the project site. 


We tend to not like Rodney Davis, but facts matter

According to some journalists, Rodney Davis said this:

What he actually said was this:

At Smile Politely, we don't make a secret of our general dislike for Hot Rod, but when we have something to say, it's grounded in reality, and it's not reality-adjacent. That Davis's staffers are concerned that some men in Washington are so depraved that they actually can't stop sexually harassing women and instead would just avoid hiring them paints a pretty bleak picture of how prolific the problem really is. 


The Suede Chain reunite; play Cowboy Monkey on January 6

If you never saw The Suede Chain live, you missed out on the precursor to bands like Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire shoving a few too many on stage in the post-Nirvana era, and actually pulling it off. 

Good news: they have reunited and are performing at Cowboy Monkey on January 6, 2018. Make plans now. I suspect that the 120 tickets available will go fast. 

Back in the day, they were one of my favorite bands in town, and I still listen to Ripplemark, their 1994 album with the one-two punch of the songs "Mississippi" and "Daisy Dawn" to start the record. Those two are so good that the rest of the album (also good) has a hard time playing catch up, in my opinion, anyhow. 

I can't find "Mississippi" on YouTube, and I can't embed from iTunes for some reason, so you will have to just settle for "Daisy Dawn" which is a banger. 

Regardless, the first week of January is absolutely for shit. I mean, is there anyone in the world that enjoys this week outside of sociopaths and deranged Christians celebrating 12th Night? 

This reunion show on January 6 will give you something fun to do. Plus, it gets violinist Mary Weingartner on stage, who was absolutely one of the best artists to hear perform in that era. She totally crushed it back then. 


Rodney Davis embarrasses himself on national television…again

It's no secret that the Republican tax bill is incredibly unpopular. If you're looking for a quick explainer, check out our write-up here. If you'd like to watch Rodney Davis fail miserably to defend the bill, check out the video below:

We're not sure who keeps putting Davis up to this, but his last appearance on MSNBC was just as bad, and his other attempts at a coherent defense of the party line on national television have gone just as poorly. You'd think that after being swept virtually nation-wide in the recent election, party leadership would be looking to mitigate their exposure, and only put the best and the brightest on camera. Clearly, someone dropped the ball by allowing Rep. Davis to embarrass himself (and by extension, those of us unfortunate enough to be represented by him) on the national stage yet again. 

Here is footage from the protest against the “Chief” at the Homecoming parade

Earlier this week, it was announced that the "Chief" would be appearing at the Homecoming Parade tonight, despite the University of Illinois taking a supposed hard line stance against its specter and the past it carries with it. 

As was reported, The Honor The Chief Society applied to participate, and was granted permission by the board that oversees the sponsoring organization that promotes and executes the parade. 

The Chancellor's office received multiple letters of concern, one of which came from the Illinois Student Body President Raneem Shamseldin, whose organization later voted to boycott the event because of the "Chief" appearing at the parade. 

As planned tonight, roughly 150 people or so shut down the parade route for the automobile carrying Chancellor Robert Jones.

Here is that footage, along with some interviews and discussion about the events surrounding the protest, courtesy of Protagonist Pizza Productions:  

No matter your position on the "Chief" and the long shadow it casts, it continues to be a source of intense division in this community. That sentiment has spread to all corners of the country, because of teams such as the Washington Redskins, Cleveland Indians, and more. All of them, unwilling to back down. All of them, unable to accept that the voices of the Native American population had been stripped of its agency hundreds of years ago, and continues to be ignored to the day. 
UIUC spokesperson, Robin Kaler, sent an email in response to multiple inquiries this week about the Chancellor's office ultimately allowing the Chief to appear. In it, she is quoted as stating: 
"The group has the right to participate in the parade and this entry is similar to ones in past years. Parade participation is open to entries from the entire community. We cannot restrict participation based on the content or message of the floats or entries without violating the rights of free speech and expression of these individuals."

If I may... this is where I call complete and total bullshit. Point by point: 

  1. No, they don't have the "right" to participate. They have the privilege of doing so. 
  2. The entry is similar, but just earlier this year, Chancellor Jones was quoted about his decision to end the use of the "War Chant" song at Illinois games by saying ""not everybody agrees that the music is appropriate, and it's offensive to some people."
  3. Parade participation can absolutely be restricted. To claim that it cannot is a baldface lie. This is 100% untrue. 
  4. Choosing to allow and disallow submissions for a float is not a First Amendment issue. By this line of thinking, it would be permissable for Illinois to allow a Neo-Nazi float. There is no possible scenario in which this would be allowed. 

It is clear to me, and many others by now, that the administration at the University of Illinois is simply doing more damage by allowing more time to pass with each semester that they "allow" the Chief to appear at any event that is conducted on University property.

I am all for free speech. No one is telling anyone that they cannot express those positions. But what they cannot do is shove hateful behavior into the faces of people on this campus and in this community. And that is the consensus about what this is by Native American organizations across the entire country. Even with the most closely related direct descendents of the Illini Nation

The expectation that Robert Jones and Timothy Killeen will step up and eradicate this dark stain on our community's history once and for all, is hitting a fever pitch. How they choose to execute the next step will likely impact their legacy during each of their tenure.

They would be wise to seek the advice and counsel from the Native American House on campus, who represents the (very small) student body of actual Native Americans. They have been outspoken, have asked for them to step in, and they are continually ignored.

We will continue to post images that best showcase the similarities and analogies between the Chief and other cultural appropriations that are fundamentally offensive and racist. Here is that image, which is sponsored and promoted by the National Council of American Indians: 

There is no difference.


Watch this timelapse video from Urbana’s Market at the Square’s 2017 season

The final installment of this year's Urbana's Market at the Square is coming up, they wrap things up on November 4th. I was taking a look through their Facebook page and noticed this timelapse video from this season, and yeah, it was posted back in August, but I thought it would be a good way to showcase the season here.

Check out the video below, and Jillian's recent look at what to expect in the coming weeks at the Market.


Watch Steve “The Hungry Hound” Dolinsky explore C-U eats for ABC 7 Chicago

Steve Dolinsky is a journalist and personality in the food and drink world, and resides in Chicago. His daughter attends the University of Illinois, so he and his ABC crew headed down to check out some establishments here in C-U to get a taste of what the scene is like before next weekend's Homecoming celebration at the U of I.

Check out a couple of videos below (from the accompanying article), where the Dolinsky's explore Courier Cafe, Watson's, Black Dog, MIGA, Hopscotch, and BrewLab. And hey! Even a beer from Triptych (as you can see in the top photo).

Top photo from the video.

Morgan Orion releases music video for “Genevieve”, filmed in C-U

Morgan Orion just released a music video for his song "Genevieve", from his album The Tunnel of Love and the Hell of Hot Licks. It was filmed/directed/edited by Sam Ambler of Ambler Video with creative direction by Orion's sister, playwright Gabrielle Reisman. The video was funded in part by The Urbana Public Arts Program and features many spots in C-U. See which ones you can identify.

Morgan Orion and The Afterburners play C-U Folk and Roots Festival on November 4th @ The IMC, 6:00-7:00 pm

Top photo from their Facebook


Our take on Congressman Davis’ visit to Urbana Head Start

We had a chance to meet up with Congressman Rodney Davis at a recent visit to the Head Start facility in Urbana and ask him a few questions:

As you can see from the video, the connection we drew between Rep. Davis' visit to a facility that benefits low-income families/children and his voting record in opposition to those families/children is a connection Congressman Davis didn't appreciate us making, but it's one we felt was more than fair. 

Make no mistake, the same families that benefit from Head Start would have been absolutely decimated by the almost 900 billion in Medicaid cuts Davis voted for several months ago, a vote he defends to this day. We also tried to get Rep. Davis to square his supposed support for these families and children with his support for the current GOP tax plan, as that plan would overwhelmingly benefit the top 1% while providing meager and (despite Davis' insinuation) far from universal tax cuts to low and middle-income families. 

We feel that these are far from separate debates, though Rep. Davis clearly wishes they were. We get it. It's easy to show up, read some books to kids, snap a few photos, and pretend you're making a difference. What's harder is going back to Washington and voting against the moneyed interests that overwhelmingly fund Davis' campaigns, and seem to be the only people he cares to interact with. These wealthy donors and special interests would have been the overwhelming benefactors of the AHCA, and stand to make out like bandits if the GOP tax plan goes through. 

This is the sort of cynical behavior that turns people off from politics, and it's easy to see why. It takes someone with a tremendous amount of courage, or a tremendous lack of shame to sit down and read books to children from low-income families, then jet back to Washington and vote to gut their healthcare and give a handout to the top 1% at their expense. The parents, teachers, and families of Head Start deserve far better, and we're committed to making sure that the people who claim to represent them are held accountable for their actions.