Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Aldermanic take on a bachelor party, what will Stephen Colbert do w/ this?

Not exactly something Jason Ervin wants to put on his campaign mailings

Be honest! Prior to a couple of days ago, who amongst you had actually heard of Jason Ervin? Or could have picked him out of a group shot of Chicago's 50 aldermen?

But now? Ervin may be the biggest-name member of the rarely-illustrious Chicago City Council, all because of that bachelor party he attended a couple of years ago -- the one that turned up on YouTube video and has some people trying to imply that he's using taxpayer dollars to pay for such sex parties!

PERSONALLY, I'M NOT all that offended. Not so much because I enjoy pornography (I find most of it tedious). But because insofar as bachelor parties go, it wasn’t that big a deal.

Scantily-clad girls exposing themselves and mimicking sexual acts. A batch of guys standing around, acting borderline stupid. (And the answer is “Yes,” I am "sworn to secrecy" about a few bachelor party activities I have witnessed during my lifetime). If it weren't for the political connection, involving an alderman who's going to be seeking re-election in next year's municipal cycle, we wouldn't care in the least.

But with WMAQ-TV and the Chicago Sun-Times reporting about this moment, we’re all supposed to get so offended at the very concept. We’re supposed to think that the “honorable” Jason Ervin of the 28th Ward is now doomed to defeat – even before his re-election bid even begins.

For the record, it seems that back in November 2012, there was a bachelor party, held in the same building in which Ervin maintains his ward office. Not in the office, but two floors upstairs.

WHICH ISN'T UNCOMMON. Political people often rent multiple spaces within a building, with one designated the official government “office” covered by taxpayer dollars, and another space for private events. It’s part of the idea of keeping government funds from paying for non-government activities. Which this particular party most definitely was.

Like I already wrote, this party seems fairly innocuous. No acts of prostitution took place. No illicit drug use. Which we know because of the video snippet (a couple of minutes) that exists because someone decided that naked dancing girls was exactly the moment to pull out that cell phone and take some cheap video.

Which is really the only interesting aspect of this whole tawdry affair.

An alderman is seen having a naked girl dance suggestively before him. The video snippet, according to news reports, ends with a woman telling the guy to quit shooting video because it could turn up “on the Internet.”

IT SEEMS SHE was right. It did. And now, we’re supposed to be shocked and appalled. Even though by Internet standards, this video isn’t all that graphic. Video snippets on the Internet of bachelor and bachelorette parties (particularly those involving male strippers at women’s parties get more explicit to the point that I’m convinced they’re the male fantasy of what a bachelorette party ought to be like) are so graphic that I wonder how they get disseminated without violating laws against public pornography.

As for Ervin. It all seems so tame, by comparison.

Part of my problem in terms of dealing with this particular happening is that I regard the idea of pornography on the Internet to be monotonous.

Even the not-quite-classic porn films of the 1970s could be entertaining for their cheesiness factor. The repetitiveness of these things -- particularly if you are watching from the privacy of your computer right after reading this commentary -- is just mind-numbing, rather than erotic.

THEN, THERE’S THE factor of the need for someone to whip out their phone to take pictures. It is something I just don’t get.

I have a smartphone and have used it on occasion for pictures and video. But most of what I see people shooting images of is just so pointless. I can’t quite figure out why anyone really felt the urge to take pictures of Ervin’s moment.

I noticed the Capitol Fax newsletter out of Springfield pointed out that Ervin himself has engaged in political attacks on people the border on outrageous, and that perhaps this video is some sort of karmic payback.

This really does seem to be an incident where the only person thinking logically was that aforementioned woman who coordinated the strippers at the bachelor party. This moment is now a part of our political lore. Ervin won't be forgotten because the tale is being spread.
How cheap a gag will Colbert get?
BY CHANNEL 5 News, the Chicago Sun-Times, many other news outlets, then the fake news shows. Not exactly the kind of attention a political person usually desires.

Just think of what the Daily Show (or Colbert Report) crews will do with this on Comedy Central? Or maybe Evans will warrant a full-fledged sketch on Saturday Night Live.?

So much for the idea that one needs to do something of substance politically (or even criminally) to gain their moment in the public eye!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Go look up the YouTube video of this party for yourself. I seriously believe that if you do take the time to watch it, you’ll wind up wishing you could have those few moments of your life back.

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