Torture comes home

It was the spring of 2010 when I took my big gulp of Apple juice. In fact, I chugged so freely from that bottle of Cupertino Kool-Aid that I bought the basic, Jobsian trifecta of iPhone, Mac Book, and the first version of the iPad. I'm not gonna go off on some Apple-oriented rave, which became tiresome eons ago. But I will say I've been fine with the switch, no regrets.

I'll also note that I haven't felt the slightest twinge of desire to own The Watch. Right now, it mostly just seems like another gizmo I gotta learn how to operate. You know, goddammit, you buy a freaking sprinkler timer nowadays, you have to learn how to program the damned thing. And honestly, I already have an Apple Watch. It's called an iPhone. As any iPhone owner will tell you, it's a better watch than it is a phone.

I guess I'm just not feeling an urgent need to have a lifestyle nazi on my wrist at this time, which from the ads appears to be one of the main reasons to buy The Watch—so you can more easily keep track of your breaths, steps, servings and calories. OK, that's all swell and nifty. Somehow, the 500 bucks is still staying in my wallet. Tell me when The Watch has a vape in it.

Racist cops and minority groups have always clashed in this country. This outburst of coverage in the national media over the last year isn't a discovery of some troubling new problem, after all, but mostly the result of the dramatic rise in our arsenal of in-pocket recording devices combined with ubiquitous video cameras. We're talking about it a lot more, like other horrific social problems that have been with us forever, such as incest, wife-beating and priestly pedophilia.

Recently in Chicago, a rather stunning piece of news surfaced that is worth mentioning. The Chicago City Council passed a reparations bill, worth $5 million. The victims, who will be paid up to $100,000, are the 100 African-Americans who were beaten and tortured during the two-decade reign of infamous Chicago commander and detective, Jon Burge.

Usually, the mere mention of the word “reparations” is enough to make your basic city council seize up and throw a rod. But in Chicago, the crimes of Burge and some of his cops were so gratuitous the C.C.C. realized it was time to step up and fork out. And since the city has already paid out $100 mill in lawsuits as a result of Burge's madness, the council is probably also hoping like hell that they can halt further litigation. The $5 million might just look like a bargain at this time.

After the settlement was passed, Mayor Rahm Emmanuel said, “This stain cannot be removed from our city's history, but it can be used as a lesson of what not to do.”