Fresh Air for today (Thursday – August 15, 2002) is featuring Eric Klinenberg, author of the just-published “Heatwave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago”, about the horrific heatwave of Summer 1995.

I’m listening to it right now. It’s selling the shit outta the book; I’m definitely gionna pick it up.

Funny thing about me: when others read horror novels or true crime (a pox on the serial killer entertainment genre, a pox, I tell ya), I prefer to read journalism or history about catastrophic failures of systems generally designed to provide for our collective safety.

Watching Chi-town writhe and die under God’s magnifying glass that summer was, at the time, both horrifying, and a complete vindication of my abandonment of the Midwest. The weather back home, quite literally, was NOT habitable.

Every summer, when I was a child, I would wonder what failure of self-preservational instinct led pioneers to stop in Indiana and Illinois. GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!

OK, I’m kidding, kinda. Better you than me, I guess. And I miss the hell outta fall. But be sure to spit on the snow for me.