Monday, September 12, 2022

Enough with the complaining already

     Show of hands: how many of you are tired of City Council members always complaining? Everybody? I thought so. These alderpeople jostle like piglets at the public teat, for years, slurping up their six-figure aldermanic salaries, enhanced with all sorts of quasi-legal side hustles. Then a sweeter gig beckons, they raise dripping snouts from the mire, wipe a trotter across their mouths, and start bellyaching.
     Boo hoo! People opposed me. Lori Lightfoot was mean to me. It isn’t fair!
     Get over it. You’re not special. Lightfoot doesn’t like anybody.
     So why I am complaining about the complaining of others? Maybe I caught the hypocrisy virus fogging the air. Maybe I’m just annoyed over Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) exit interview in last Thursday’s Sun-Times, the one where he starts out griping that he could “write a whole book called ‘The Backstabbers’” about Chicago politics because of how treacherous everybody has been to him.
     “People who were my friends in office and fraternity brothers subsequently ran against me...”
     “Friends”? FRIENDS! Did Brookins, an adult man of 58 years, pair the word “friends” with “in office”?
     Howard, let Uncle Neil tell you something you should have known long ago: There are no friends in public life. The affection of politicians, to quote a wiser colleague — OK, Lynn Sweet — is “situational and transactional.” They’re always there when they need you. Then they’re gone, gone, gone.

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  1. "Alderon" is certainly better than my idiot alderman calling himself an "alder", which is actually a tree! That's Andre Vasquez of the 40th Ward!

    1. Personally, I like "Alder," but anything other than "Alderperson" or "Alderpeople" is ok with me.


    2. I still like Supervisor, but maybe Manager would be better. Please make alderperson go away.

  2. Alderon seems pretty good. Alderite? Alderx? Alderego? Alderror?

  3. "Alderman" comes from the Old English title of "ealdorman"... which means "elder man" or "older man"...but in the United States, city and county governments prefer the term "councilman" or "council member" to "alderman." But it depends on the municipality. Chicago is an exception to the rule, as it so often is.

    The surname of "Alderman" is derived from a member of a prominent British family who worked as a duke, magistrate, or chief. Chicago's alder-beings aren't exactly known for their duke-like decorum. Instead, they're more likely to be "putting up their dukes" or "duking it out"...mostly with erstwhile supporters who've mutated into the kind of backstabbing litterbugs who casually toss away used paper towels.

  4. Alderkingshorsemen and alderkingsmen
    Couldn't put Howard together again.

  5. Excellent column. Among its other flaws, the city government's legislative branch is far too large. Since the incumbents don't seem to want these terrible jobs any more, we have a fine opportunity to reduce the council by half. Or maybe two thirds, or even three quarters.


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