This Fourth of July, I feel especially patriotic, because my faith in American values of commitment, courage and faith were strengthened by the victory of Friends of the Parks over oligarchs, bullies, grifters and smugly powerful people who have gotten their way, over and on everyone else, for the last eight years.
Money, media control and mass messaging have made our city, county, state and nation too much of a banana republic. Corporations count more than parishes and neighborhoods.
Have you noticed that in the past twenty years, the use of the word neighborhood has been almost entirely replaced by the preferred Progressive term" community?"
Neighbors know one another and interact; communities coalesce. Under the camouflage of the word 'diversity' people become a a congealed mass of votes, nor a threatening mobs for a cause.
Diversity ( not real, actual diversity) is a template for the boilerplate leftist playbook, which keeps people busy shouting, threatening and hating one another, while a small group of sanctioned snobs amass unlimited power and unimaginable wealth.
This past week was very satisfying. Neighbors won and the elites lost in the epic battle between Friends of the Parks and Mellody and George Lucas, Rahm Emanuel, Sanctioned real estate, bankers, construction, engineering, vendors and public relations players lost.
Neighbors raise families, work, pay taxes, watch out for one another, disagree on religion, politics, sports, lawn care methods, street lights time and alley bean bag. Neighbors go to wakes, benefits for sick kids, buy raffle tickets, drive and run errands for older neighbors, bitch about property taxes, garbage grid, recycling mandates and Chicago's parking desert landscape filled with massive and unused bike lanes.
Neighbors are busy. Some neighbors are financially better off than most of us and use their time, talents and treasure to make things better for their neighbors.
Friends of Parks were called gangsters by Chicago's most celebrated and unchallenged race baiting preachers, because some might live in Grant Park high rises. Shucks, I know a widow woman who lives at 300 E, Randolph in a big old high rise and she drops $25,000 minimum to help young black men at Leo High School, just down east of St, Sabina, every year with out fail. Community attached 501(c) 3 foundations like Woods Fund refused to toss us a nickle and that was when a young ambitious kid named Barack Obama was dining out on Check Please and wowing the tight-knit IVI Community. That widow and many others were better neighbors, than any community activist and more black males became successful men because of neighbors.
Friends of Parks are neighbors and they went to bat for all of us, who have limited time, use or talents to put bread on the tables and watch our treasures disappear with increased utility bills, water, property, parking, consumer taxes levied upon us by Community People.
The Lucas Museum was supposed to be some kind of Narrative Arts Cornucopia - really a big ass digital junk closet for all of Star Wars cast-off stuff, like unused scripts, or snappy PC characters of the future. The power couple with pals on the fifth floor of City Hall and the White House demanded that this site be stuck on the lakefront - imagine if George and Mellody were forced to allow me to store all of my old gym shoes, Leo High School sports wear, fishing gear, grade books going back to 1975, articles on Thackeray, James Shields Charles Chinquy , Bishop Shiel, and Packey McFarland, baseball caps from Bishop McNamara, La Lumiere School and Leo High School on their front lawn as a tribute to high school teachers. The old gym shoes might give one a huge pause once the scent hit the old smeller.
Friends of Parks gave this gaggle of spoiled geese ( anyone like geese? Biggest pains in the ass of all feathered friends and no friends of any park, or parking lot) a huge 'time out!'
Friends of the Park became Community Enemy Number One, after that cops, firemen and skilled tradesmen. The two minutes hate was extended.
Irizarry and Moltz, as they said repeatedly during the nearly two-year debate over the museum's location, reiterated the group was never opposed to Lucas' idea of a housing a collection of his digital and traditional art in Chicago. The issue, they said, was that the "Star Wars" creator insisted on selecting sites along the lakefront, public trust land they argued should be open and clear space.
"We feel it's really unfortunate," Moltz said. "Our issue was just that he wanted to put it on the lakefront. We're sorry he made the decision to leave rather than look at any of the other viable sites that would have been a win-win for the city."
So how will the Lucas Museum fight shape Friends' fortunes going forward?
I hope Friend of the Parks signal victory over the oligarchs willget neighbors to appreciate one another and return to calling neighborhoods by the correct name. Neighbors live in high rises too.
Friends of the Park reminded me that Liberty is more than just a compelling narrative, a Sun Times hate campaign and boondoggle for grifters.
Happy Fourth of July! Thank you, Friends of the Park! I mean neighbors!