Cleveland update: Along with Syria and wherever Melania Trump goes to reflect honestly about her life choices, Cleveland is one of the saddest spots on Earth. It's a sadness so profound that it can take bona-fide awesome things and turn them into awfulness—you know, like what Facebook did to the internet. Cleveland's once-great-and-proud NFL franchise won just one game last season, which sounds lame except it's way better than this season's team, which has won fewer (we'll leave you to complete the math on that). The Mistake By the Lake's melancholy is so dense it's one tourist draw is the execrable Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a brick-and-mortar affront to rock's essential outsider ethos. Having a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—now with more Bon Jovi!—makes about as much sense as having a Build-a-Bear Biker Bar, which, now that I see those words arranged together, sounds frigging awesome! Dibs!
Chicago update: A truly great city plagued by gun violence that has been likened to the Tutsis' and Hutus' genocide by local authorities, who have suggested U.N. Peacekeepers be brought in to help because they're getting nothing from leaders such as Donald Trump, who campaigned he would make cities such as Chicago safe again. Recently, Trump attacked the tragedy head-on while speaking before the FBI Academy, incisively remarking, "What the hell is going on in Chicago? What the hell is happening there?" Trump, of course, has done all he could to quell the situation, whether it be scapegoating immigrants for being largely responsible (Nope!) or ensuring that Chicago's murderers will always have guns and ammo (Lots!).
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Consensus: Rock & roll is steeped in the spirit of the rebel, so having an institution dedicated to cloying acceptance reminds me of what the great Hank Hill had to say about Christian rock: "You're not making Christianity any better; you're just making rock & roll worse." C'mon, Cleveland, you're better than this. . . . Well, maybe not. Go Bears!