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The Week in WTF

1. Chicago Voters, WTF?

Sure, people in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia face off against bombs, paid assassins and machine guns just for a chance to determine the course of their daily lives. That freedom/democracy thing seems to excite most folks who don't have it. But Chicago?

Nah, not so much.

What the ascendancy of Rahm Emanuel suggests is that no matter how much is spent on commercials or how loudly the media bleats about the necessity of paying attention, there is little about electoral rights that keeps Chicagoans awake. This explains the glass-is-60-percent-empty vote Tuesday.

I have long worked on the political theory that Americans don't really care much about politics as long as police are relatively useful and the potholes get filled. Maybe half will vote. Maybe a few more if the debates seem interesting.

But passions that exercise the political press don't cross over into the lives of citizens unless there is some remarkable, transformative, transcendent event.

Politics can fill up long blank spots on cable television and talk radio. So what? At any given moment, 600,000 people are watching Fox News. How many is 600,000 in a nation of 310 million? At any given moment, more Americans own ferrets and are trying to get them out from underneath the bed. America bought more false eyelashes last year. More people live in Lake County.

So we amuse ourselves with democracy and elect people like Emanuel. If Chicago gets a better mayor than most expect, it surely will be more to the good than Chicago deserves, and mostly proves the law of unintended consequences.

2. Scott Walker, WTF?

Say what you want about Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Doofus), and we've had plenty to say, at least he's not Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R-Jackass). Does it make you feel oddly queasy that Quinn seems both smarter and more reputable that Walker?

Walker's intention to drive our northern neighbors back to the 19th century seems obvious enough, and he's not even particularly honest about it. True, union busting is an old conservative blood sport, but this has become full contact martial arts in cheeseland.

But I wonder, I said to himself.

Is this really the America that people thought they were voting for in the last election?

As for comedy hijinks, Walker has the amusing aspect of being ardent but not very smart, as demonstrated by the fake Koch Brother gotcha on the telephone.

My favorite line from the transcript shows Walker seeming to agree with the fake Koch that MSNBC morning talker (and Zbig's daughter) Nica Brzezinski "is a nice piece of ass."

As a one-time Wisconsinite, I can suggest that Registered Cheeseheads are a good-natured lot who will take almost anything from their politicians except dishonesty, mean-spiritedness and conduct likely to embarrass the state. Walker has a WTF trifecta going.

3. Blaming Unions, WTF?

And while I'm at it, when did your American right to bargain freely for job benefits and honorable conditions become a transitory fad that a politician like Walker could demand you surrender?

Every overtime hour, every weekend off, every paid holiday, every required on-the-job safety protection was earned by that right. The crash of the American economy wasn't caused by unions. It was caused by Wall Street.

4. Crazy Hoosiers, WTF?

And while it's not the only available evidence, this suggests that not only is Illinois not as crazy as Wisconsin, it's not as crazy as Indiana, either. At least sanity returned soon enough for this wazoo to be terminated.

WTF's chief constable grew up in Indiana. Sheesh.

(The Indiana deputy attorney general in question was a graduate of The Ohio State University, which does explain some of this. I've never lived in Ohio.)

All of this political thuggery makes you feel America is becoming Bulgaria. And not the chic new Bulgaria, but the old one from where Mission Impossible used to rescue all the imprisoned dissidents.

5. Cubs Karma, WTF

The only way the Cubs could be a real contender this year was for a WTF Bangladesh-grade monsoon to sweep through the National League Central. Oddly enough, it has.

The season ending arm injury to Cardinals perennial Cy Young candidate Adam Wainwright this week takes at least 10 wins away from the Cards and redistributes them among the Cubs and their division colleagues.

The Redbirds won't lose all of his likely 20 wins, but they can't make up the difference with a platoon of willing volunteers.

It might actually be enough to make Chicago a contender. However much good the event does the Cubs, though, it should make the Reds completely giddy.


Comments welcome.


Posted on February 25, 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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