February 11, 2004

News from the Chicago desk

Hot on the heels of a string of local candy-manufacturing plant closings and labor disputes, Tootsie Roll workers are ready to strike !

As someone else put it yesterday " Is R Kelly even in trouble, still?". His Feb. 6 "status hearing" did not determine a trial date, but rather addressed a. That he could not be near Michael Jackson at the Grammys and b. That he had to retrun from LA by the 18th. Clearly Judge Gaughan is all "Whatevs" in terms of adressing the issue at hand.

As announced, yesterday, in a 84 pt type white on black FULL PAGE HEADLINE on the cover of Tribune off-shoot ass-rag, Red Eye, ANOTHER SERIAL RAPIST IS ON THE LOOSE. Perhaps it is still one the three from this summer that did not get caught? Maybe it's the one with the sweatband that looked just like Nelly, though in the police sketch the Chicago PD mistakenly identified him as looking like "rapper Ice Cube". That dude raped and beat three women in a month in a TWO BLOCK RADIUS and was never caught.

The Daley Machine is embroiled in more trouble, as the city truck leasing scandal unfurls, implicating Mayor Daley's cousin at the center. Daley denies allegations of nepotism and corruption and bribes and kickbacks and Mob connections. As usual. Mayor diverts attention by getting in the saddle on education funding reform, as in the last three weeks, suddenly, the state gov't has realized that having local school budgets/funding based on district property taxes means that kids on the Southside cannot read and pre-K kids up in Hyde Park are doing U of C entrance exams between nap time and snack time. I am hoping the mayoral scandal at hand continues, so that more please-the-people agendas and legislation come to pass, even if they are exclusively diversionary tactics.

The only man that ever fought the Chicago Machine and won was Harold Washington . May we suggest that now, in a seemingly interminable season of hopelessness and well-earned apathy towards leadership, election, presidency, America, voting -- that in the broken toaster oven of our hearts, we keep a warm meat pie of hope for change cooking. An e-z way to do so is go to This American Life , and in the corner search "Harold Washington" and take the 40 or so to listen to the full oral history of his campaign and election, which is a sad parable about race, and how scared white Chicago was (is, it was 1980) of Black Chicago having power. It is also a tremendous, fairy-tale-like story about how hard Chicagoans fought to have an ethical man in office, a black mayor running the city.
Listen! listen! It is the best thing you can do with yr day, I SWEAR TO YOU.

Posted by Jessica at February 11, 2004 02:47 AM | TrackBack

This American Life plays their Harold Washington piece every year around the anniversary of his death and every time I hear it I get so sad that nobody in politics is even in the same time-zone as Harold in terms of honesty, directness and the lost secret art of actually ANSWERING QUESTIONS.

Posted by: Touchmaster at February 11, 2004 10:31 AM

I have the same feelings about Marion Barry about this time of year.

Posted by: travis at February 11, 2004 09:05 PM

Fun fact: About this time last year I almost took a job working in the lab at that Tootsie roll Factory.

Also fun: Sentence #2 in that article dubs it "Tootsie Toll."

Posted by: andrea at February 12, 2004 05:34 PM
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