Only this week the Chicago Tribune editorial board may, may, mind you, have considered a university study as useless as a blind pig with a dysfunctional smell-er. Thus!
In an exhaustive report from the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School, two faculty members finally expose the cause of state-level corruption.
It's not Super PACs or power or greed that corrupts. Not comfy relationships between lobbyists and lawmakers. Not overlap between private business and public service. No, sir.
It's geographic placement of capital cities. That's right. Illinois breeds more corruption because Springfield is isolated. Politicians get less scrutiny, citizens pay less attention and the news media aren't as aggressive as they tend to be in larger metropolitan areas. Elected officials are free to roam the prairie like cowboys, the authors concluded
Isolation breeds corruption . . .DooDah! DooDah!
Isolation breeds corruption . . .all Da DooDah Day!
Give a university a back-loader and a mountain of dough and it will come up with a study that concludes that G. Flint Taylor, Jon Loevy and Locke Bowman are on the level; great guys with hearts of oak and souls of free-handed generosity and not Cadillac Commies hell-bent on undermining faith in law and justice. They might also prove with geometric attention to data that Chuck Goudy of ABC Seven is a newsman, or that Forrest Claypool can hold an un-appointed job longer than an election cycle by dint of his talents and work ethic.
The latest university study was read to me by the janitorial crew from University of Illinois Chicago subsidized by Illinois, City of Chicago and Cook County tax-payers, as well as a grant from Joyce, Spencer, and John D. Catherine T. MacArthur foundations.
This dialogic exercise posed the question of Corruption in public life to Old Tom Placko from over by Ukranian Village and Brachero 'Cherry' Sundstrom a former U of C grad student, mental health beneficiary, and Anarchist. Both gentlemen have more than twenty-five years ( Old Tom since 1971 and Cherry Since 1989) membership with Services Employee International Union (SEIU) Local 73.
The grant covers a seven month dialog between Old Tom and Cherry Sundstrom during each of their meal breaks, for which they were compensated and covered by other workers in the event that no Piso Mojado emergency would break the chain of discourse. The dialog was recorded in the tradition of Louis "Studs" Terkle and presented with some redaction by the grant committee.
Here is an excerpt from those dialogs:
Cherry - Corruption rots. The corporations crush.
Old Tom - Cop gave me ticket -паршива ублюдок - Friday.
Cherry - What for?
Old Tom - He's big black cop.
Cherry - Race does not matter . . .because you are white and part of the systemic racism that created black cops who suck revenue from . . .are going to eat your pickle? . . .workers and then kill black children with impunity.
Old Tom - He's big black cop. I'm cashier my check at Courtyesy Exchange five munute! New meter don' take coins. Is 60$ ticket!
Cherry -Did you ask . . .
Old Tom - I tell him ' Kiss my ass! That's what you are!' He write ticket. Maybe call Some Peoples Law and get money?
Cherry - Dude, this wrong on so many levels. “Corruption, law-breaking, the arrogance of intellectuals, the wish to do honour to one’s family by becoming a white-collar worker and not dirtying one’s hands anymore, all these stupidities are only symptoms. Inside the party and out. The cause of them is the historical conditions themselves. But also the political conditions” As Stalin said “We did not bring about the October Revolution in order to give power to the kulaks!”. Dude, that cop was kulak!
Old Tom - Cop was black fella!!!!! Goddam$hitF#$king . . . too much drugs you take! Take the лайно out of your ears!
Cherry - No man. . . forget it. Corruption is bad. Dude, solid me; punch me out at 2, today? I have meeting with the Occupy Brethren.Old Tom - Kiss my ass! That's what you are! Punch you clock self!
In the words of Andre Malraux "The human mind invents its Puss-in-Boots and its coaches that change into pumpkins at midnight because neither the believer nor the atheist is completely satisfied with appearances."
Then again it was Festus Haggen from the Old Gunsmoke episodes who spoke clearly on the dangers intellectual legerdemain - studies and likesuch:
"Supposin' I was to go to work and learn how to... to read writin'. Well, how'd I know that the feller that... that wrote the writin' was a writin' the writin' right? See it could be that he wrote the writin' all wrong. Here I'd be just a readin' wrong writin', don't ya see? You probably been doin' it your whole life, just a readin' wrong writin' and not even knowin‘ it. —“The Devil's Outpost”Indeed.