We’re a nation hooked on closed caption. Where the writing on The TV Screen is there to let us know what we’re supposed to be hearing and cue the appropriate reaction.
When we hear children crying as they’re being torn from their families, we’re supposed to be outraged. But the Law Of Diminishing Returns has kicked-in. We’re burned out on outrage.
We’d rather golf, shop, text obsessively in our Tesla. I don’t begrudge Elon Musk for disguising status symbols as innovation. I begrudge myself for secretly wanting a fancy pants car with a plug.
Where am I going? Really? Besides spinning my own wheels, pretending self-righteousness amounts to a hill of beans.
This week I drove to Englewood to help the kids from Parkland kick-off The Road To Change. Unlike when I drove to Washington, I was able to look them in the eye.
In Washington, the crowd was too big. In Englewood, the crowd was too black and so no one cared. Standing next to them, I have to admit the kids from Parkland looked like kids, sad kids, lost kids, sunburned kids devoting themselves to a cause no one wants to bother with until there’s another mass shooting.
Until then, The Road To Change felt like D-List Lollapalooza, featuring porta potties and Will I Am. He actually sang a song, like we were an audience and he was there to move the merch.
There are two seasons in Chicago: winter & construction. Until yesterday, Irving Park Road was under construction and so I parked on a small side street called Hoyne. The traffic has been backing-up on Irving Park Road, so utility vehicles making deliveries have been turning-off to escape the lull. The problem is Hoyne happens to be very narrow. If I had to guess, I’d guess a utility truck turned onto Hoyne, realized it was too narrow, tried to turn into an alley and accidentally took-off the front left side of my car. It was still drivable. So I made the roadtrip to Englewood for the protest and then dropped-off my car on the other side of the world in Lake Bluff, for repairs.
I took a walk in both neighborhoods. In one neighborhood when a woman approached me on the sidewalk, I said hello. In the other neighborhood when a woman approached me on the sidewalk, I scanned the bushes to see if I was about to get jumped. I’ll let you guess which neighborhood is which neighborhood.
You know who I didn’t see in Englewood…
Rahm Emanuel, the mayor who’s too busy polishing The Bean at Millennium Park. You know who else I didn’t see? Barack Obama, the community organizer whose presence would have lifted the entire community.