Friday, January 3, 2014

Falling temperatures and frequent gales of Rauner


This column starts out at A and meanders to Q. That was the intention. My only overall goal was to write something funny, to mention snow, and to jab a sharp stick at Bruce Rauner. I accomplished all three, to my satisfaction. And no, I don't dislike the rich, only the contemptuous rich.

     I came to work Thursday. Yes, yes, I know, it’s the nostalgic newsman in me. I figured, you’ve got a job, you go, physically go to work, transporting your body to your place of employment. Old school. That I was making some kind of error in judgment only occurred to me at the Northbrook train station, which looked like a crowd scene from some unwritten Kafka short story: “The Train Station at Murmansk” or some such thing. Dark figures wrapped in thick coats and scarves, leaning into a blinding storm.
      The train was a half hour late. I got a seat, which wasn’t true for everybody. I tried to catch the eye of the lady standing next to me, ready to gallantly ask, “Madam, would you like a seat?” Then I realized that she was a decade younger than me, and, anyway, she never tore her eyes away from her cellphone, certainly not to glance in the direction of someone literally and figuratively below her. So I focused on my Sun-Times, occasionally gazing with mixed emotions at the diamond ring and assorted sub rings on her finger wrapped around the chrome handhold. The rings cost $25,000 if they cost a dime. Standing might be good for her.
     The less said about the trudge to the office the better. Soon I was thawing out on the 10th floor, getting my morning coffee, finding myself standing in front of a window with a co-worker. Both of us lost in thought until I spoke what was clearly on our minds.
“Does snow ‘hurtle’?” I wondered aloud. “I’m trying to find the right verb to describe what I’m looking at. ‘Race?’ ‘Plummet?’ It looks like one of those bad 1940s Christmas movies where the stagehands are shaking big boxes of laundry detergent just above the view of the camera...

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4 comments:

  1. This contempt the uber-wealthy wear proudly as a mantle is meant to shield them from moral responsibility for the rest of us lesser beings.

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  2. I'm still amazed at how prescient this Simpsons episode, from over 20 years ago, continues to be: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JmylSHuPvg

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  3. Plus also: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/01/social_darwinism_and_class_essentialism_the_rich_think_they_are_superior.html

    -- MrJM

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