Friday, December 2, 2011

Ideologues are doing a good, enough job of shooting themselves in the foot

Sometimes, I think the way to go about opposing that segment of our society that is determined to keep us socially in the 19th Century is to do nothing.

Because at times, the conservative ideologues among us do a good enough job of making themselves look ridiculous.

PART OF IT is because political people in general have a tendency to figure out how to say something stupid – no matter how much they try to avoid it.

But even those who don’t aspire to hold government positions manage to find a way to step in it and make something relatively harmless into a MAJOR CRISIS ISSUE!!!!!!!

It seems like we have learned nothing from the late 1960s, where many of those Chicagoans who eagerly opposed Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies being in the city in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention held in ’68 sound so stupid in retrospect.

Did anyone seriously believe that the city’s drinking water supply was going to be contaminated with LSD?

PROBABLY ONLY THE same kind of people who seriously think mayhem is going to occur at next year’s Gay Pride Parade in the north lakefront neighborhoods – on account that the new route is going to take it right past a Catholic church.

That will be Our Lady of Mount Carmel on Belmont Avenue, where church officials are trying to avoid sounding bigoted in their complaints about the new parade route – which actually was designed to reduce the amount of foot traffic in the Lakeview neighborhood come the 2012 version of the parade.

But now, we’re going to have little children attending church while the parade goes marching by. Parents will have to squirm as they come up with an explanation for much of the gaudy behavior that takes place during the Pride Parade every summer in Chicago.

The reality of this particular event is that it is harmless. It usually polices itself rather well – despite the crowds in the hundreds of thousands of people who turn out to either watch the event or participate in it.

BUT WE HAVE church officials insisting that there will be traffic and public safety problems created by having a parade pass by Belmont Avenue.

The fact that this church is going out of its way to say that its’ stand is not against homosexuality in and of itself is just too reminiscent of that old Seinfeld line (“Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” while going on and on about heterosexuality).

It seems to me that the people who really expect some sort of orgy to come marching right by the church during Sunday services are the children of those who couldn’t figure out that tainting Lake Michigan with LSD would take such a large quantity of the drug that there’d be no way to “sneak” it into the city.

A “pinch” of LSD isn’t about to turn a 9-million-person metropolis into a batch of drug addicts.

YET THERE IS another reality. The people of Our Lady of Mount Carmel are NOT the most ridiculous sounding individuals this week.

That title goes to the people of the Illinois House of Representatives who dumped all over state Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, for his purely-symbolic resolution in support of the Occupy Wall Street activist movement – particularly those people who have taken to gathering around LaSalle and Jackson streets in Chicago.

Ford, in his resolution, says he sees the effort as “continued peaceful exercise of First Amendment rights.”

Legislators usually grant each other votes of support for these resolutions – which have no power as law but allow for statements. This time, they turned on him – giving it a 37-58 vote (far short of the 60 votes of support any bill needs for approval).

STATE REP. ROSEMARY Mulligan, R-Park Ridge, who usually shows some sense of having common sense, claims she has heard of people who are afraid to go to downtown Chicago because of these activists – although I suspect these people are just scared of going anywhere where there would be large numbers of people unlike themselves.

For the only truly scary aspect of downtown Chicago is the ridiculously-high price of legally parking one’s car.

Then, there’s state Rep. Ed Sullivan, Jr., R-Mundelein, who harps on an issue I have seen many ideologues rant on when it comes to the Occupy Wall Street protests – they’re criminals, and some are rapists.

Not that we’ve had any of that among the Chicago versions of these activists. But who wants to let the facts get in the way of a rant (particularly since the few cases of sexual assault have involved participants in the protests).

IT’S CERTAINLY NOWHERE near the image of Occupy protesters raping and pillaging every woman they encounter on the street, or breaking downtown store windows for massive looting.

It there were, we’d probably have police activity similar to what occurred in ’68 – the activity that ultimately got labeled a “police riot” just over four decades ago and would be even-more over-the-top if applied in ’11.

Not that this commentary is totally fair. Because it makes it appear that Sullivan and Mulligan are somehow the most outrageous of the batch of legislators who felt compelled to speak out against this issue. Anybody who wants to get the true sense should check out the Capitol Fax website.

Perhaps it is because these activists are speaking a little too close to the truth with regards to the allegiances some political people have when it comes to balancing business and social concerns?

FOR SULLIVAN USED the word “un-American” to describe these protesters. Which is way too similar to the rhetoric used all those years ago to describe the Yippies – all too many of whom grew up into respectable citizens in our society.

Is that what we’re destined to repeat – these protesters maturing into proper people while they oppose grouchy grandpa-types who truly seem to want to live in the past?


No comments: