Archive for the 'Politics' Category

Morning Walk

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

I was wandering around the neighborhood this morning taking care of some business when I saw a middle-aged man peeking into the old Villa May Pizzaria that’s been empty for almost two years.  My neighbors and I have been wondering what would eventually occupy the incredibly-convenient-for-us space.

Me: Is someone finally doing something with this place?
Man: Yeah… It’s going to be a Middle-Eastern restaurant.
Me: Great!  I live across the street.
Man: I’m Gene Shulter, your alderman.  I’m just checking in on our little projects.
Me: Oh!  Hi.
Gene: Let’s see how the other ones are coming along.

And with that he lumbered off down Montrose — to check in on the construction at Damen, I presume.

What It’s All About

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

I’m glad this election is over.  I guess to me there are a million ways to make the world a better place and getting a particular politican elected is low on that list. So it was nice, on election night, to see something truly good happen.  

At the restaurant where Shama works there is a dishwasher named Francis and a server named Dave.  During the colder months Dave wears a navy-blue peacoat to work and hangs it on the coat rack. Many nights, when it’s time to go, Francis jokingly puts on Dave’s coat and pretends to leave before trading it out for his own ratty coat.

Last night, when Francis was getting ready to go, Dave (and the rest of the staff) surprised him with a peacoat of his own.  

As we were leaving, Shama told Dave he’s a good man.

Dave: Don’t go spreading that around.
Shama: Don’t worry, I’ll leave the spreading around to you.
Dave: They already know all about that at the Montrose Clinic. 

I don’t know if he was kidding or not (about telling this story — or the “spreading around”) so I changed the names.  But gosh darnit if that didn’t make my day.

Do You Smell What Barack Is Cookin’?

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has an amazing resemblance to Barack “Not The Rock” Obama in both voice and appearance.

Help Chicago’s Music Scene Is Okay For Now

Monday, May 12th, 2008

When I lived in New York, I wasn’t so into the music scene. I wasn’t really a musician back then, so that probably explains some of it, but I never really went to shows either. Music in Chicago is much better. So is small independent theater.

City Hall has a new ordinance in the works that would make it more difficult for independent promoters to put on shows at small venues. This is all in response to the H2 nightmare a couple years back when 20 people were trampled to death after a fight broke out at a concert, but I suspect it will do more to hurt small, honest promoters than it will to stop any future disasters. Most promoters I’ve worked with don’t get rich off of small shows or festivals. They put shows together because it’s fun and they like the music. A $1000 fee and required background check would probably be enough to persuade many of them to quit putting up shows. That would be bad for musicians and bad for Chicago.

So If you’ve got nothing better to do, read what Jim DeRogatis has to say about it and write to your alderman. It’s fun. They usually write back. Okay, maybe I am a little political.

UPDATE: Chicago Promoter’s Ordinance to be reworked.  Hooray!  Hopefully the new version will address the actual problem without killing Chicago’s honest music, theater and comedy promoters.  I have to say, I’m impressed with Chicago’s artistic community.  Way to go everyone.

Some Third Party Candidates To Consider

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

I’ve never really been all that into politics. The candidates never seem to talk about anything that really interests me. Maybe I’m not paying attention. Luckily, the Internet has made it possible for some less mainstream candidates to get their message out.

Cobra Commander ’08
While I tend to vote along party lines with G.I. Joe, it hasn’t always been clear cut. Let’s face it, Storm Shadow was awesome and Bazooka was kind of annoying. Cobra Commander has some interesting new ideas, including a 2-trillion dollar weather dominator and his “elderly into food” program. He also has much-needed experience running a complex paramilitary organization without submitting to the demands of special interests. He doesn’t submit to any demands!

Cobra Commander also has amazing support from the celebrity crowd, which might motivate young voters and surprise some pundits in November. It will be interesting to see who joins Cobra Commander as his running mate. Destro would be an obvious choice and could definitely enfranchise the chrome vote, but The Baroness would bring a strong female figure to the ticket as well as much needed experience with foreign intelligence.

Zod 2008
I’ll be honest, I think Zod has an uphill climb to the White House in 2008. It will be hard for him to differentiate himself from Cobra Commander, policy-wise, and he has a weird-looking beard. Still, he has a message that resonates with everyone who thinks Superman is kind of annoying because he has no weaknesses. (Kryptonite? Please. What a crutch!) He also has some experience running the country from Superman II, although he did entrust Lex Luthor with most of the day-to-day operations.

Roslin/Airlock ’08
It’s unclear if this is an official ticket or just an Al Gore-esque grass-roots recruitment campaign staged by loyal fans. Either way, it’s hard to dispute Laura Roslin’s three years of wartime experience. It’s also hard to dispute Airlock’s strict interpretation of justice — impartially evacuating Cylons into the cold expanse of space.