Thursday, February 2, 2017

When reality follows fantasy and gets incredibly stupid in the process

Does President Donald J. Trump think he can literally engage in some form of tough talk with the street gangs of Chicago and get the street youths to quit killing each other?
Were there political lessons in 'Hill Street?'

It would seem the president with the overbloated ego has some form of that vision bopping about in his orange-tinged head. Although if I could offer a bit of advice to the president, I’d have to suggest he watch some television.

SPECIFICALLY, DIG OUT a cable television channel carrying that old television series of the 1980s – “Hill Street Blues,” which those of us of a certain age will remember for the number of scenes shot in Chicago (and which used the outside of the old Maxwell Street station for its namesake police district).

I used to love watching that program back when I was in high school, and don’t need to dig out my set of DVDs of the program’s seven-season run to remember the stretch of episodes that offered up a ludicrous story line.

The “president of the United States” was going to come to The Hill and was going to have to pass through territory controlled by street gangs. Presidential aides and police met with gang leaders to work out a truce, and the president was going to have to meet with those gang leaders as a way of showing them respect – in order to get their permission to pass through the gang turf.

Of course, circumstances worked out that the president had to cancel his trip. He never met with the gang members, or in some cases their family members. The gang leaders were offended at what they saw as a presidential snub.

WHICH RESULTED IN mini-riots within The Hill district.
Did actor Seaverns' hair ...

These three episodes that came during the series’ first season are ludicrous (although the late actor Trinidad Silva as Jesus Martinez, leader of the Los Diablos gang was remarkably humorous and gets chuckles from me to this day).

The presidential press secretary with the overbloated hairdo and ego to match who manages to offend the gang members all too often is just someone who could never manage to get political work in reality.

It’s just television, we’d have to think. But then I can’t help but think he bears a resemblance to the way that Trump would conduct himself in such a situation – saying all kinds of arrogant and foolish things without thinking first, then thinking he’s above the situation and the whole event can be cancelled.
... bear resemblance to '80's-era Trump?

THEY EVEN GOT the Trump hairdo correct on actor Charles Seaverns as “presidential aide Parker.”

Now what made me remember these 36-year-old episodes? The fact that Trump on Wednesday made his latest “Chicago pot-shot” by implying once again that he’s THE MAN who will have to come in to eliminate the urban violence that befalls our city.

Specifically, he talked of seeking out the Rev. Darrell Scott of Ohio, who was a prominent clergyperson who backed the Trump presidential campaign and who says he is meeting with members of “top gangs” in Chicago who supposedly are willing to partake in a “sit-down” to “get that body count down” in our city.

Two points to consider. When police in the past have said they were meeting with gang members, the ideologues amongst us got all upset that we were giving those gangs some sort of official recognition. Wouldn’t Trump be doing the same thing?

MORE IMPORTANT, WHAT exactly are the “top gangs” in Chicago? Does he think that urban violence bears any resemblance to “West Side Story?” Or perhaps that 1979 film “The Warriors?”
TRAVANTI : Can Furillo talk sense to Trump?

We truly have a president venturing into territory of which he knows nothing (and yes, I know the sarcastic comment is to say there are many issues of which Trump knows nothing). We truly are best off disregarding anything he has to say on this issue.

Because the levels of violence we are facing these days in Chicago is a serious problem. We don’t need them being escalated by someone who thinks our society is nothing more than material for his own reality show.

Particularly since “Hill Street Blues” gave us the same story line decades earlier – and in a far more entertaining manner than anything Trump could achieve.


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