Monday, October 7, 2019

Someday Ken Griffin will be as famous as Daniel Cook

     There were only a few protesters. Clumped together on the sidewalk outside Macy’s on State Street, holding signs that read, in essence, “Save Marshall Field’s!” Not the store — it had already been sold, lock, stock and Frango mints. But the name. They were protesting the new owners changing the store’s name to Macy’s.
     And in that single moment, any sympathy I might have had for their cause drained away. I could practically feel it pooling at my feet. I’m as nostalgic as the next guy, if not more so. But with all the wrongs in the world, to wake up, lace up your sneakers, paint signs, go downtown and stand in the street to protest the subtraction of one sequin from the little nostalgic tapestry shimmering at the back of your mind, well, it’s almost obscene, right?
     After that, I became an immediate adaptor of name changes. Guaranteed Rate Field? Sure! Willis Tower? You betcha! There is no John Hancock Building — it’s “875 North Michigan Avenue,” now, thank you very much.
     So when the Museum of Science and Industry — make that the former Museum of Science and Industry — announced it will henceforth be known as the “Kenneth C. Griffin Museum of Science and Industry” thanks to an infusion of $125 million from the richest man in Illinois, I smiled and thought, “Great!”
     Nor am I alone.
     ”Griffin is donating $125 MILLION dollars to the museum,” Gail Torkilsen commented after a story about the change. “Nice. No one should be upset. Thanks Mr. Griffin for your gift. I’m proud of you.”


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10 comments:

  1. Years ago, there was a push to rename it after Julius Rosenwald, who gave the money to start MSI. That never went anywhere. He was far more important to the museum & the city than this rich clown!
    Of the four big South Side museums, two were funded by Sears execs & two were funded by Field's execs.

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  2. The Brits seem particularly reluctant to give up on original monikers. The headquarters of the Metropolitan Police is still referred to as Scotland Yard, even though it hasn't been at that address since 1890. Similarly, the Secret Intelligence Service began life in 1909 as Military Intelligence Department 6, and is still referred to as MI 6 these many years after it was transferred to the Home Office in 1931.

    Tom

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  3. MAUSOLEUM, n. The final and funniest folly of the rich.

    --Ambrose Bierce

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    1. The fate of the rich as depicted in the Bible and other religious writings seems unenviable in the extreme, but I've never heard of that deterring anyone from attempting to accumulate as much wealth as possible. The only thing holding me back has been the likelihood of someone naming something after me, which would haunt me long after my death. I just hope Beto O'Rourke doesn't become President, because in just a few years I would have to hear about the terrible traffic jams and lousy maintenance on the O'R expressway or the horrible murders, rapes and general mayhem on O'R Boulevard. I'm sure such would keep me awake even in the cemetery.

      john

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    2. Religion doesn't induce people to shun wealth because, push comes to shove, most folks believe in greed more than creed. John, poor Beto goes through life knowing what it means to be "Calling for O'Rourke".

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  4. I see this both ways. However if you are one that gets all worked up over this kind of thing then congratulations! You have a great life. Me, I don't have time to worry about this. I'm too busy trying to figure out how to pay my health insurance premium and still put food on the table.

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  5. In their defense, when the coal mine debuted the nation was not so enlightened as it was between 60's, and 2016. The name change you suggest is appropriate but the museum is not totally devoid of science education. History has crept in a bit, but wouldn't the U-505 make more sense at the Field? My first thought was a big donation from a science-denier but perhaps I judge Griffin too harshly. After all, if you watch PBS you will see David Koch as a regular contributor so conservatives aren't all Devils.

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    1. Koch is just buying indulgences with his PBS & other scientific funding, such as at Johns Hopkins.

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    2. Well, David has either been paid back for those indulgences and his transgressions, or more likely just disappeared into the void of eternity, neither rewarded or punished for his life's actions.

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  6. It doesn't matter what they want to name it...it's what people want to call it. Look at the examples set by pro sports, especially the major-league ballparks. How many people in Chicago still referred to the home of the White Sox as Comiskey Park?

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