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The Week in WTF

1. Bears Fans, WTF?

After waiting for years for another legit Super Bowl contender (and the Bears are because of their defense) how lovey-dovey with the team are Chicagoans? Well, how hard will it be to get a ticket for Sunday's home playoff game with the Seahawks?

As of Thursday at 7 p.m., there were 1,522 tickets available on Stubhub! alone.

Forecasts call for 15 degrees and light snow. But, still, it's the Bears. It's the playoffs. WTF.

Maybe after all the bluster and macho puffery, Bears fans are wussies. It's cold. Better stay inside all you delicate flowers.

Tickets range from $59 to $600 or so.

Wait until Saturday afternoon. You can get them cheaper. But, Chicago, let's be honest. You're still wussified. WTF.

2. Capitalist Pigs, WTF?

Among the rhetorical goofiosity that arises when conservatives take control is the description of environmental regulations as oppressive and intrusive. It's like the swallows coming back to Capistrano. Just get out of way of capitalism and let the market roll.

But for those who remember when the air in Northwest Indiana was so clogged with steel-plant carcinogenic goop that breathing was a perilous activity, there is news that federal regulation is not only not oppressive, it might be the only answer.

Power generating NIPSCO surrendered in a long-running fight with the EPA this week and will spend $600 million to fix the air and close some of its coal-fired plants. One small step for breathing.

The essence of the argument implicit in this dispute is that NIPSCO denied it was doing what science and now the law demonstrated it was: Killing people.

And, of course. there is another obvious question. How much would NIPSCO have spent without the EPA ordering it to open the wallet? The answer is nothing. People will live because of this victory, and many others will live longer.

3. Kathryn Vail-Wesley, WTF?

Prove to us there isn't a double legal standard for male teachers who seduce students and female teachers who do the same thing.

A Christian high school on the Near West Side with just such a case on its hands seemed to punish a teenage boy more than the teacher. And the legal system seemed to go along with the less-is-more standard in her punishment phase.

On the other hand, maybe WTF is just hysterical, which wouldn't be the first time. It could be just a legal illusion d'optical.

Nonetheless, WTF's view is that society believes male teacher deviancy is disgusting and vile, while female deviancy is, well, sort of cool.

Hey, don't stone the messenger. The messenger is already stoned.

4. Mortgage Mania, WTF?

The second most effective commercial propaganda trick of our culture is the concept that walking away from a home mortgage you can no longer afford is somehow dishonest, or, at the least, amoral. We apply the welching rule to that.

But when banks do it, it's strictly a keen business decision.

Actually, giving a home back to the bank because you can't pay for it is precisely the penalty the loan arrangement demands.

The marketing trick upon which the mortgage industry is based suggests that when you do it, it's lack of scruples. When a bank does it, it's just capitalism.

5. Diamond Wedding Rings, WTF?

The best commercial marketing trick in the history of trickeration? The concept that engagements and weddings are "forever" only if a diamond ring is involved.

Making women demand diamonds - crave them, in fact - in exchange for their "favors" has legitimized an ancient professional exchange of value. It's the carat versus the stick.

For those who think this was simply a naturally occurring romantic desire, don't be a schmuck. Diamonds weren't used much for engagement rings before 1947 when a De Beers ad campaign invented the need. "Inventing the need" is one of the building blocks of capitalism.

WTF is not bitter. Really.


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


Posted on January 14, 2011

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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