Here’s What You Missed in Milwaukee This Week: Oct. 15

Joe McCarthy, Bobby Bacala and candy corn bratwurst.

Michael Shannon is Playing Joseph McCarthy

Former Wisconsin Senator and noted vanquisher of the communists Joe McCarthy is getting a biopic. McCarthy is going to be played by Michael Shannon, who is a phenomenal actor. Take Shelter, Nocturnal Animals, Revolutionary Road – he’s one of the best.  Shannon’s involvement means at the very least, this film is going to have a great lead performance.

Jon Henry Raps About Milwaukee

This week, Jon Henry, a rapper from Milwaukee, dropped “Tour Milwaukee,” a track that does exactly what the title promises. Every line is a Cream City reference. It’s pretty great and packs an insane amount of MKE content into two minutes.

Although I have to say: I think my mixtape, Bullets Flyin’, Snitches Cryin’, deserved this kind of media attention, and I can only conclude that it didn’t receive it because the establishment is against me. 

Bobby Bacala Loves Paul Bartolotta’s Cooking

Steve Schirripa, who played the one and only Bobby Bacala on “The Sopranos”, was talking about his favorite restaurants on the “Talking Sopranos” podcast, when he said that the best meal he’d ever eaten was cooked by Paul Bartolotta. I was listening to the podcast while cleaning the dirt off my shovel, and I had to stop, toss everything back in the trunk, and start taking notes. Finally, I had an excuse to write an article about “The Sopranos” in Milwaukee Magazine. Schirripa was effusive with the compliments, (“It was so good I can’t even tell you. … You have a meal that you can’t get out of your head”), and frankly I’m proud on behalf of Bartolotta and Milwaukee.

Now, technically, this podcast episode aired on Nov. 29, 2020, so it wasn’t this week, but I didn’t listen to the episode until Monday, and since I’m the only sentient being in existence and you’re all just figments of my imagination, I say it still counts as this week.

Steven R. Schirripa as Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri acts in a scene in HBO’s drama series, “The Sopranos;” Photo via HBO

Ollie and Artie Arrive at the Milwaukee Zoo

Two new fennec foxes arrived at the Zoo’s small mammals building this week. The brothers, Ollie and Artie, are tiny little fur-creatures with giant ears. Fennec foxes have been a favorite at the Zoo in the past, and it’s not hard to see why. The cuteness is intense, and with names like Ollie and Artie, this pair seems perfect for a children’s series:

  • Ollie and Artie Learn About Milwaukee
  • Ollie and Artie Meet Ruth the Elephant, Ollie and Artie Go to College
  • Ollie and Artie Take a Philosophy Class
  • Ollie and Artie Read Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Ollie and Artie Awaken to the Meaningless and Absurdity of Existence
  • Ollie and Artie Lose Hope
  • Ollie Starts Smoking a lot of Weed and Artie Joins a Cult
  • Ollie and Artie Go to Jail
  • Ollie and Artie Fall in With the Wrong Crowd
  • Ollie and Artie Do What They Have to Do to Survive in This Place, OK? You Don’t Know What it’s Like Until You’ve Been There
  • Ollie and Artie are Denied Parole
  • Ollie and Artie Break Out
  • Ollie and Artie Flee to Mexico
  • Ollie and Artie Get Involved With the Wrong Crowd II
  • Ollie and Artie Learn to Smuggle Narcotics
  • Ollie and Artie Become Kingpins
  • Ollie and Artie Take Out the Competition
  • Ollie and Artie Go to Jail II
  • Ollie and Artie Learn About Multiple Life Sentences

I think it has real commercial potential.

Madison Declared the Best Place to Live in America

This week released its annual ranking of the Top 100 places to live in this beautiful nation of ours, and Madison pulled the number one spot. Good on ya, Madison. It’s nice to see Wisconsin getting its due. It’s not like we harbor any resentment that Milwaukee didn’t even make the list. No, of course not.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images



Madison Declared the Best Place to Live in America (Not Milwaukee)

Come on! Milwaukee’s not even in the top 100? What the hell? You’re telling me Reno, Nevada is better than Milwaukee? Reno?! Is this a joke? I’ve been to Reno. I’ve also had hemorrhoids. The two experiences were just about on the same level of enjoyable, but at least one could be fixed with a medicated wipe.

All right, all right, I’ll calm down. It just gets my goat to scroll down this list of … Jersey City is on here? What the hell kind of … ok, ok, ok, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out.

Ugh – Madison is just going to be insufferable now.

Photo courtesy of Visit Milwaukee

Brewers’ Lose

Have you ever read The Natural? It’s much better than the movie. In the movie, Robert Redford hits a home run in the last game and fireworks explode and everyone’s happy. In the book, Roy Hobbs is paid to throw the game, but in his last at-bat he decides he wants to win, and he gives it his all – and he strikes out. The next day, a paper boy hands Roy the morning paper with a headline breaking the story that he was paid to throw the game. The paper boy asks him to say it isn’t true. “When Roy looked into the boy’s eyes he wanted to say it wasn’t but couldn’t, and he lifted his hands to his face and wept many bitter tears.” And that’s the ending – a Greek tragedy told on the stage of American baseball.

Does reminiscing about this masterful literary work make the Brewers blowing Game 4 against the Braves feel any better? Not really. But here we are.

A Madison Meat Market is Making Candy Corn Bratwurst

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.



Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.