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The Week in WTF

1. The World, WTF?

Can anything be more troubling and less satisfying than the state of the entire, damn universe this week? WTF, world. Get a grip.

First, the Rev. Terry Jones, who, believe it or not, is not the most disturbed evangelical wingnut in the wingnut lunchbox, has seized the pulpit with his torch-the-Koran tease. It's Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown. Except in this script, someone caps Pig Pen in retaliation.

But it's worse. Donald Trump wants to buy the would-be New York mosque property to . . . save our hurt feelings over Muslims praying? Keep Jones from burning books? Motivate Obama to call and volunteer for The Apprentice? As for WTF, we'd change sides in any geo-political-religiositized debate if only, once and for all, we could determine if that thing on Trump's head is hair or a thatched roof from Tanzania.

Here's what it comes down to, sports fans.

The radicals (Jones, al-Qaeda, the Tea Party, etc) have seized control of our TVs. It's the scariest episode of The Outer Limits ever. Now we are reduced to sending more or less rational leaders to convince nutjobs they shouldn't be nutjobs, at least for today. America the Great has been reduced to Nicaragua with better cable.

In moments of such despair, WTF reverts to our least appealing preference. Let our professionally trained and equipped military try to kill all of them before they try to kill all of us. Meanwhile, the nominal adults will sit on the sidelines and watch how the war goes.

2. Rahm, hell no, WTF?

Not that anybody asked us or would pay attention if we answered, but let WTF be the first to say it: Anybody but Rahm Emanuel to be Chicago's next mayor. ANY-BODY. (Is Roland Burris busy this winter?)

There are those who cede Emanuel some de facto seat on the throne. But why the affection for Emanuel? Do you get it? We don't.

He'll raise money, he'll pull strings but eventually he'll need to present himself to the public and seem like anything other than what he is. Just another political rug salesman out for himself. Remember the concept of "vision" as an inspiring attribute?

Plus, any Chicago journalist who cannot provoke Emanuel into screaming "Fuck you!!" on the air is not really trying. When that happens, it will prove an interesting test case in FCC timidity vs. paid political advertising free speech.

There are plenty of progressives who believe that Emanuel's influence has dulled any instinct President Obama had to seek truly transformational legislation. In fact, it was never Rahm the Bulldog who spun the administration into any furies, except when it came to cursing. It was Rahm The Pussycat who shaped all principles into bite-sized morsels of compromise. As it now stands, the people who once adored the promise of Obama demand to know why they've been conned.

Plus, is our office staff here at WTF the only ones who think Emanuel is creepy?

3. Daley Derby winner and losers, WTF?

Loser: Police boss Jody Weis wasn't going to stay forever. Too many open flames in Richie's kitchen, plus he looks preposterous in a dress uniform. His uni seemed about two sizes too small. He was always holding his breath so the buttons wouldn't explode off his jacket and wound a nearby dignitary. So he's gone very close after his March contract termination date arrives. He'll leave with a few ugly scuff marks on his shins. Probably deserved a lot better.

But a word to the city's officers who are about as manageable as a small dinghy in a typhoon. They somehow think the superintendent works for someone other than the mayor. The last thing any new mayor will allow is a top cop who can build his own political base. The super can make his officers happy, or he can make the mayor happy. But he may not be able to do both. Which do you think he'll choose?

Winner: Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, who admits he'd like to be mayor and probably won't have to resign his job to run, as lusting city aldermen will. Either Dart is amazingly prescient for avoiding the lure of Senate-House recruiters, or he possesses true patience. Or maybe he's just lucky, which is a skill in its own right. He's the only candidate without serious political contusions.

Winner: Richard M. Daley's decision not only creates a huge sucking vacuum at City Hall, it also promises to clear out the aldermanic sludge pit. That means Chicago's citizens could win all around.

4. Bridget Polaski, WTF?

Suburban police can be so amusing. Some days they don't have anything better to do than roust ex-strippers. It's a living.

The Romeoville gendarmes confiscated Bridget Polaski's cell phone (she's the requisite ex-Romeoville stripper) which contained nude photos she taken for her boyfriend. She wants the photos back. The cops are keeping them because, as Deputy Police Chief Mark Turvey said without laughing out loud, the photos were confiscated as part of an "investigation" last month. "That" investigation has blossomed into "this" investigation that stems mostly from her being pissed that they took her cell phone.

Judge for yourself what the cops are assessing about Bridget. Turvey promised the police didn't look at her pictures. Promised as if his left hand was gripping a WTF Holy Book and his right hand was raised skyward to salute gawd.

In answer to a question posed by one of the officers to Bridget, they certainly look real to us.

By the way, the Sun-Times sent photographer Michael Schmidt to shoot her, just to help determine if they were real. He got paid the standard Guild scale for the assignment.

Also by the way, we wonder if Turvey's nickname is Topsy.

5. Lou Canellis, WTF?

Nothing much to say about Lou Canellis getting the top sports gig at WFLD-Ch. 32. Idea wise, he's sort of odorless-colorless-tasteless like everyone else on local TV. But our breath is taken away by his sideline wardrobe at Bears games. Need a few more views to confirm the sartorial assessment, but it seems Lou has cornered the market on St. Valentine's Day Massacre suits. Nothing says "Hand me that Tommy gun, Luigi" like a pinstripe, two-button suit and a silk single pastel tie with a knot large enough to choke a large palomino draft horse.


David Rutter is the former publisher/editor of the Lake County News-Sun, a Sun-Times Media property. He welcomes your comments.


Posted on September 10, 2010

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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