Hot Air

World-Changers?

As I type this, zillions of people are gathering on the streets of my beloved hometown to eyeball and adorate the 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs, who are parading down Michigan Avenue a mere two days after changing the course of world history. And it’s a glorious, sunny day both here in So. Cent. Ind. and the Windy City, which is only right and fair.

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The Faithful Gather In Grant Park

[Image: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune]

The parade kicked off earlier at Wrigley Field (or, as my fave public radio booth announcer, Annie Corrigan, referred to it, endearingly, yesterday AM, Wrigley Stadium) and is wending its way down to the bandshell in Millennium Park. I assume Kyle Schwarber et al will thereupon be assumed, bodily and soul-ly, into heaven.

While grooving on the glee of it all from afar, a couple of thoughts occur to me:

  1. Watching the World Series games on Fox, I’ve concluded sports fans must be the flaccidest fkers extant. Every other ad was for boner pills. Man, Cub Nation’s gotta be the floppiest-appendaged assemblage this side of a castrati convention
  2. Goddamnit! For two days in a row now I’ve still had to get up early in the morning to earn a dime. The Republican Candidate for President (RCP) has not apologized for his very existence and withdrawn from the race. Civil war still rages in Syria. We’re still burning fossil fuels. The Kroger people continue to insist I pay for my groceries. Jeez, this World Series championship didn’t really change a thing. We’ve been conned!

Trust Me, I’m A Liar

This is fascinating. New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert, who specializes in science, thinks she’s got the Republican Candidate for President sussed out. In her Daily Comment piece dated yesterday, she begins by wondering how in the world a greater percentage of American voters, acc’d’g to a poll, feel the RCP is more trustworthy than Hillary Clinton.

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Kolbert

After all, the RCP is a pathological liar, if one is to trust the findings of the various fact-checking orgs. busily at work these days vetting his each and every utterance. And trust them, I do. Kolbert sez the citizenry of this holy land trusts the RCP because he doesn’t deny he’s untrustworthy. She writes:

Donald Trump is the kind of jerk who authentically, genuinely, unabashedly inhabits his own jerkiness. The indifference to reality he’s displayed on the campaign trail is the same indifference he displayed as a businessman, a husband, a boss, and a taxpayer. His narcissism, petulance, and whatever other character flaw you care to choose aren’t under wraps; they’re on view for all to see and hear. In this sense, he truly is the real thing.

We are one eff-you-ed nation.

The Fascism of Reality

People talk about The Market all the time, especially my more antediluvian friends. Loyal Pencillista, the Lake County Republican, for instance, extols the Free Market as a cross between the very hand of god and some kind of sexual nirvana — and if you can sniff out the double- or even triple-entendre embedded therein, you’re not alone. The Market, free or slightly less so, will protect us from ourselves, it will put everyone to work in a swell job, it’ll clean up the environment, it’ll allow the superior among us to continue to amass billions of dollars, and — hell — it just may even make ED-afflicted, increasingly minoritized aging white men less cranky, which would be miraculous indeed.

Now, I trust the “Free” Market about as much as I’d trust my brood of two dogs and two cats to have vacuumed, washed dishes, and folded the laundry by the time I get back home this eve. That Hayek guy, in front of whose sacred icon the Free Marketeers are obsessively genuflecting, is about as spot-on as, oh…, say the People’s Temple’s Jim Jones was back in the ’70s.

Nevertheless, I trust The Market, unfettered or not, in one arena and that’s the success of failure of the everyday, local entrepreneur. If a woman or man opens a store and no one shows up, well, that’s tough but the market, such as it is, has spoken. You can cook up a fab pizza and if no one drops in for a slice, you close your doors. That’s business.

Two respected, iconic local businesses are in hot water these days. The Players Pub and Boxcar Books both are clinging to precious life by their fingernails. And both are depending on the largesse of the local pop. for further sustenance — they’re begging for dough through crowdfunding websites.

crowdfunding

I’m not a big charity-giver in the first place. I’d rather sit next to a homeless dude and talk to him about his day than pitch quarters over to some do-gooder org. that purports to end the problem of homelessness if only I whip out my wallet. I’m not against charities; it’s just that I prefer the personal touch rather than the detached solution of giving donations and then telling myself what a swell egg I am for it. In any case, I find the idea of businesses setting up crowdfunding operations, well…, dopey.

If neither Players Pub nor Boxcar Books can make a go of it peddling their wares and services, they must close their doors. That, again, is business. It’s mean. It’s sad. But reality is a son of a bitch.

Hey Hey, Holy Mackerel

What else?

 

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