A few years ago, I stopped watching tee-vee shows as they air (but clearly never stopped calling TV shows “tee-vee shows”). Instead, I wait until a whole season has concluded before watching. In some cases, I’ll actually wait years until a show has finished airing to watch the whole entire series at once. I enjoy watching two or three episodes at night before I go to sleep…and I don’t like waiting a week between episodes, especially with dramas. I much prefer the Netflix distribution model, where they make all episodes of a season available at once. I hope the networks go to something like that in the future. But, until then, I will keep coming late to the tee-vee party.
This week, Justin and I finished watching Quantico, which was a new show on ABC for the 2015-2016 season. I think it’s worth your valuable time and is a fun show to watch this summer. Justin doesn’t like anything (and missed his calling in life by being born too late to be Mikey from the old Life cereal commercials)…so when even he enjoys a show (despite himself) I know it is something I can safely recommend. Here’s some of what I like about Quantico.
1. Nobody famous is on it. Or, at least, nobody I recognize from anything (except Marcia Cross from Melrose Place/Desperate Housewives, who shows up at one point in a supporting role). Frankly, I don’t like watching famous people on the tee-vee because I have a hard time forgetting who they used to play on something else (or I associate idiotic things they’ve said in real life on the red carpet about politics with whatever character they are playing and I can’t enjoy the show as a result). It was really fun to watch a show with complete unknowns (to me at least). It really helped me like their characters.
2. There are some great twists. I enjoyed this show the way that I liked the first few seasons of 24 back in the day. Every episode had an interesting twist of some kind, with major twists — shocking twists — every few episodes. I thought the show was very brave and felt that every character was expendable and in danger. I can’t remember the last time I felt that way about anything, since the viewer usually assumes the big star will survive. But this show had no big star. I even felt the main character was always in danger (and maybe didn’t make it in the end).
3. I had to keep track in a notebook who the bad guys and suspects were. It’s not that the show was confusing (it’s not), but that it had such interesting twists and shifting allegiances that Justin and I made little Clue-style notepads to try to keep track of who the good guys were, who the bad guys were, who the real good guys were, and who the REALLY bad guys were. I had so much fun trying to figure out the mystery. I love that I was wrong in the end and didn’t peg (XXXXXX) as the mastermind and I never figured out (XXXXXXXXX)’s end game until I saw it all play out in the finale. That was so much fun. I remember being in grade school and reading Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians (back when it was still called Ten Little Indians) and being wowed by the ending. The same with her The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. I like books and tee-vee shows that throw me off the trail. I never suspected the mastermind(s?) on Quantico and I never figured out their end game or motive until the end, but now I can look back and see all the clues I should have picked up on. It’s a really fun mystery/thriller of a show.
4. They did some interesting things with political correctness. It’s a network show, so the forced “diversity” was something of a turn-off for Justin. He really complains about that sort of thing being crammed down viewers’ throats. There are Muslim characters on Quantico that at times are very politically correct, where Justin would groan because the show was doing that “not all Muslims are bad” and “you are prejudiced if you don’t pretend that Islam is not an ideology of conquest!” — but at other times the show would very accurately depict Muslims putting the conquest ideology of the Koran and its intolerance of Western culture ahead of assimilating into American society. They very clearly showed Muslims insisting on being colonists in the West, not leaving behind the dysfunctional and medieval culture they left when they immigrated here, and pushing for special treatment because they are Muslim (instead of joining the melting pot and becoming Americans). There’s another show I like most of the time called Bones that Justin refuses to ever watch because every 5th or 6th episode they have a Muslim character (from Iran) on the show and the writers use that as a means of bashing political correctness and submission into the heads of viewers. I just skip the episodes that this character is in, which is easy because he is an intern on the show and only appears a few times a year. I really don’t need to hear the “Islam is a religion of peace” brainwashing propaganda from Bones, so I have an easy way to avoid that by skipping some episodes. Justin at first thought Quantico would be 22-episode of promoting Islam but even he admitted that the show was not aiming to proselytize or scold.
5. It felt like attending FBI training at Quantico. The show operates in an interesting flashback way: half of an episode is set during the characters’ training at Quantico and the other half is set in the “present” long after they have graduated and are out in the field handling a series of high-profile events. There are clues in the flashbacks to what is happening in the present. The mystery is rooted back to their time in training. I thought this was a very interesting narrative device. It was also fun because if a character died in the present, but you liked that person, you would still see her or him on the show in the flashbacks. The training exercises they did in the Quantico facility as they learned how to become agents were also interesting puzzles they had to solve. I actually enjoyed watching their training more than I did the episodes in the present where the mystery was unfolding.
I liked this show enough that I plan on re-watching it again in July, to see all the clues I missed and to analyze more of how the episodes were structured. It was all very clever. The best part was that I didn’t think I would like the show at all. I thought it would be nauseatingly PC and full of “America is bad! Islam is good!” propaganda but I didn’t feel that way at all after watching it. And even Justin liked it, and he doesn’t like much of anything on network tee-vee.
You can watch the whole first season on Amazon.com and ABC.com (or on Hulu, if you have a subscription).
[My hobby in recent years: nature photography around Chicagoland. Every day, I try to get away from computers and the news and politics and just enjoy God’s Creation wherever I can. I post my snaps to Facebook on Sassy Plants.]
1. I really found some of what’s in this article by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air to be fascinating, about the last 8 years of Democrats focusing on central-government dictates on the economy and how central planning never works…but the people who refuse to accept that always believe that it never worked before because THEY weren’t the ones in charge of it. The article also talks about the frightening hopelessness of people who have been out of work for years and have given up on finding work (or even having a future anymore). What’s not in the article, that I notice all the time on the faces of people I talk to or in glimpses of pained honesty when someone here or there feels comfortable revealing how bad things are for them financially, is that Americans are suffering silently like never before, at least not in my lifetime. Were things bad like this in the Great Depression? I think things are even worse now, because of all the pressure we have now…and all of the things we have that take money to keep going. Everyone has more bills now than they did in the 1930s. Plus there is the unspoken pressure of all the innovative ways that localities drive revenue. In Chicago, if you have a car then you must navigate a maze of traps worthy of the Riddler to ever park without a ticket…and the state is also in on the act, always pulling tricks that result in huge fines for whatever infraction they invented recently. The laws are changed frequently to trap people and bleed them dry. We’re clearly on an unsustainable, Cloward-Piven path. That’s the whole point of the big push to bring in as many third world colonists as possible. Democrats want to collapse the system, so they can rebuild the system the way they want, in the utopia they swear will result. We all know this is madness but these are people who cannot be told something won’t work because they are so certain they are right, so certain it will work THIS TIME because now THEY are the ones behind it. And of course they are geniuses (in their own minds) so with them at the wheel nothing will ever fail. That’s really what we are up against, people living in fantasyland who refuse to see the damage they do to the country. I actually think this might not even be coming from a place of evil as much as a place of vanity and hubris.
2. Yesterday, a friend of mine told me that he was not allowed to say he is voting for Donald Trump…even though he is someone who works for a Republican organization. This weird thing is happening where Republicans are being infected by the insanity of the Left, where anyone who disagrees with them on anything is blackballed and attacked and threatened with death, rape, murder, unemployment, etc. What’s doubly insane is that the primaries are over and Trump is the nominee…so why would Republicans organizations be on witch hunts for people who are going to vote for the Republican candidate? That didn’t even happen in 2008, in the very heated Obama-Hillary race. After Hillary conceded defeat, any Hillary supporters who said they would vote for Obama were not threatened. The opposite happened, where any Hillary holdouts who wouldn’t support Obama were targeted for everything vile the Left could aim at them…but since Obama was the nominee, Hillary people who went over to Obama and announced they were voting for him did not suffer any abuse. Supporters of Ted Cruz seem to be targeting people who intend to vote for the Republican nominee, however, and that needs to stop. Cruz lost the nomination, in large part because he was off-putting to a great number of people. I appreciate that some people are really into him (obsessively into him, it seems) but those people are the small (but vocal…and even menacing) minority. If your candidate loses a primary race, you are allowed to be upset about it…but you shouldn’t make threats against people who are voting for the nominee and blackball them. Our national politics is really out of joint if this Alinsky hatred is now spreading across the aisle. It used to just be people on the far-Left who behaved this way…then it became all Democrats doing this…and now Cruz Republicans are at it. I think what we are seeing is our politically-correct, special snowflake, perpetually-offended culture degenerating further. We are a nation coming apart at the seams because we keep being divided amongst so many demographic, racial, ethnic, sexual, credentialed, class, and other lines. People aren’t seeing themselves as Americans anymore, but part of separate warring tribes that are always at war with one another. This is how civilizations fall and worlds end. It’s not the barbarians at the gate (or the southern border), but the acrimony inside the nation amongst the manufactured and artificial tribes.
3. I also don’t understand how people don’t see that Trump will win in a landslide. What’s interesting about 2016 is that it’s going to finally be a test if Americans really are sick of the Establishment and political correctness and really want America to be proud of itself and not take garbage anymore. Why has America in recent years been colonized and bossed around by Mexico? Did people enjoy Obama spending the last 8 years bowing, apologizing, and kissing the feet of third world and Islamic countries around the world? Do people find any joy in the weird detour our culture has taken where free speech is silenced, humor and satire are practically outlawed, and mobs online form and destroy people’s lives because they don’t agree with their opinions? Provided that Trump keeps assuring Americans that he is going to put a stop to job losses and is going to get the government out of the way of businesses and job creation and is going to assert that America is sovereign and our borders must be acknowledged and protected, then he will win big.
The truth is that Hillary Clinton is not well-liked and has made very bad decisions in recent years that caused herself unforced errors. She made history by becoming the first female presidential candidate, but I don’t see how she wins the election. I know that James Carville claims that it’s all over and that Democrats will win every presidential election forever, but Carville lies as often and as much as Hillary does. Romney lost because, for some reason, scores of Republicans stayed home and refused to vote for him. McCain lost for the same reason (but also the fact that white people had a religious experience in getting to vote for a black man to prove they weren’t racist; the same thing happened again in 2012, but to a much lesser extent). No one feels any sort of religious experience voting for a woman, and more than half the women in the country hate Hillary for one reason or another. Nothing has changed since 2008 on that front. I think the only thing she could have done was to divorce Bill at some point between then and now. I don’t think anyone would have been mad at her for divorcing him and a lot of people who hated her for not divorcing him years ago would have been mollified. I can’t imagine what Democrats are going to do to game the election for her because so many 30-and-under Democrats I know hate Hillary and loved Bernie Sanders (because these people were all taught in public school that socialism is good and that we need to be more like Europe and America needs to stop existing and we should all be global citizens). There is no social stigma to people saying they are not going to vote for Hillary and are going to stay home, so screw her. There is no enthusiasm for her campaign and she has no message other than she wants to be the first female president. But people aren’t exactly clamoring for that.
Again, this makes Hillary Clinton one of the most tragic figures in all of American history. Over the years, she’s lied so much about so many different things that no one really knows what she would be like as president. I believe she would have basically been Jeb Bush in a pantsuit and that the Bushes and Clintons are pretty much the same thing at this point. But, I know people who think she would be a radical worse than Obama (though that never made any sense, because if that was true then why did so many Democrats go nuts over Bernie Sanders in 2016 if they wanted a radical and thought Hillary would be one?). It’s all such a tragedy for her, where at almost every junction she chose a wrong path that made it harder for her to get to the White House. I think she’s going to have to settle for the consolation prize of being that first female nominee.
Right now, I also still think she’s going to pick Corey Booker to be her VP, as he’s been doing all the things in recent years to make himself VP material on paper. But, as the conventions inch closer so many things can happen. I just don’t think her actually winning no matter what she does is going to be one of them.
[Click above to embiggen: Today’s Doom Antidote brought to you by random snaps of Chicago via Sassy Plants]
Some thoughts on the stories splashed across Drudge and Breitbart today that are upsetting to people:
1. Muslim colonists smuggled over the US border via Mexico. The first step towards solving this problem is to start referring to the people who move from one country to another with no intention of assimilating and following the laws of that country as COLONISTS, not “immigrants” or “migrants” or “visitors.” The act of coming to a place, disregarding all its laws, respecting none of its sovereignty, and then demanding that place change to suit your will is COLONIZATION…not immigration, not migration, not visiting (permanently). Colonization is the act of one group of people leaving their motherland and establishing a colony in a new place where that colony is intended to be a base camp that will be expanded in an effort of conquest. This has been happening for time immemorial. Though, for the first time in human history, advanced civilized Western nations are being colonized by dysfunctional cultures and peoples who carry with them a retrograde effect. At some point, there will be enough of a tipping point where people wake up that this is happening and the West is being colonized and taken over…and at that point there will be a bloody civil war with door-to-door fighting in the streets. That will happen in our lifetimes. It will start in Europe, in one of the smaller countries like the Netherlands or in a Nordic one, as Islam takes over. Europe will be “shocked” by what we see coming in 2016. As long as you see anyone using the word “migrants” you know that the immigration and demographic jihad is working and continuing according to plans, because until Westerners see this for what it really is — COLONIZATION — the West will not stop it or deal with it. We’re destined for this to be WW-3. The West against Islam and the Third World colonization efforts. The one bright spot in all of that is that the West will win, but not until all the bleeding heart loons who rule by emotion and live in a world of “should” (as in, this is how things should be…or this should be fine…or we should all be able to get along) are booted from any positions of power and influence. In Europe, I believe the Muslim colonization is being allowed as an excuse for the EU to form the Grand European Army and other aims of the globalists, who want to see chaos breaking out all over Europe so that people are willing to surrender their national sovereignties even more in the hopes of quelling the chaos with a continent-wide USE (United States of Europe) and a federal defense system and federal police forces and centralized USE power. That’s what this is all about: bringing in enough Muslim colonists to cause society to start to collapse, at which point the USE army would be needed to deal with the chaos. This is pretty much the plot of those Star Wars prequels, where Chancellor Palpatine created chaos so he could end the Galactic Republic and create the Empire. That is what is being done in Europe…with the Muslim colonists as useful tools for the USE masterminds. Those globalists believe they can the either eliminate or control Islam, but they are deeply, deeply wrong (because the first chance they get, Islam will turn on them). It’s not an optimistic future, granted, but I think saying aloud what is really going on and putting the pieces all together and talking about it is a step towards doing something about possibly preventing all of that needless suffering and destruction.
2. Jake Tapper at CNN is surprised that the government lies, destroys evidence, and then pretends whatever they want to ignore didn’t happen. On a local level, Megan Fox and I encountered this in Orland Park, Illinois when we investigated sex crimes (including child pornography being accessed and open public masturbation/sexually harassing women in the Library’s computer area) happening in that building. Unless the government is actively and aggressively supervised by We the People, government actors will lie, hide documents, aggressively redact documents, and pretend things didn’t happen. I can’t even tell you how many times Library and Village staff lied and claimed that the Child Porn Incident Report that we unearthed in FOIA production didn’t exist. That was a record that Library staffers allowed a man to view child pornography at computers in the Library and they chose not to call the police and instead just let him get away (on more than one occasion!). Whenever they were confronted by this, they would lie and say they didn’t know about that report or it didn’t exist…even if it was right in front of them! In another instance detailed in our book SHUT UP!, the Orland Park Police destroyed evidence from a police car dash cam because they didn’t want us hearing what the officer was saying. So, they just wiped the audio clean…and then basically said, “Prove we did that!” The government thinks it can get away with this kind of thing forever, but I don’t believe that is true. They will, however, keep getting away with it for as long as We the People are quiet and mousy and don’t rise up against this conduct. If the people are actively supervising their elected officials and policing corrupt police then this is the world we will always live in. If, however, we start waking up and paying attention and making it our hobbies (or, I’d argue, duties) to supervise our local government aggressively then I think we can turn the whole country around. We are in a bottom-up situation, where if we ever want Washington DC to change we have to start by changing Orland Park, then Cook County, then the state of Illinois, and the Washington. But the good news is that change on the local level takes a few years to accomplish. County and state level takes a little longer. But in our lifetime if we start now, we could theoretically live to see a day when Washington is cleaned up too. Provided, however, that we don’t always accept the status quo as the only “quo” there will ever be.
3. I really don’t know what to say about Hillary’s email scandal, except that she should have known better. I continue to believe that Hillary Clinton is one of the most interesting (and tragic) figures in American history and will be remembered as such. The 2008 campaign when she ran for president remains one of the high points of my entire life. My friends and I from the Hillary Days can laugh and reminisce and tell battle stories for hours…and the bonds from those days remain strong. But, none of us are involved in this 2016 race. I don’t think any of us will ever vote for a Democrat again. I can’t find any excuse for why Hillary Clinton was foolish enough to involve herself in this cockamamie email server business when she, above everyone, should have known better. The 2008 campaign by and large absolved her of every bad thing she had done up until then (and all that would have never been rehashed). She didn’t do much as Secretary of State worth remembering…though I know that Republicans want to blame Benghazi on her (when in my opinion that was Obama’s call not to send in military support when it was needed, as Hillary Clinton has at no point in history controlled the military). The email scandal is a self-inflicted wound and unforced error that is beneath her (and the Machiavellian genius she was always supposed to be). The Hillary that I got to know a little on the 2008 campaign trail is a very nice woman who couldn’t work a phone or a computer and had Huma doing all that. She couldn’t drive a car and she would be escorted everywhere she went, without having to worry about anything but smiling and waving and shaking hands and saying “thank you for your opinion” whenever someone said something horrible to her about why they felt she should have left her husband. She’s a very nice woman, whether you ever want to believe that or not. But, she also is a pathological liar who lies about stupid things and she won’t admit when she is wrong, which is disappointing. I will always believe that Huma was behind that email server, because it’s totally the kind of sneaky thing that Huma would do, but Hillary is too loyal to throw Huma under the bus. And that’s what’s really tragic and heartbreaking about Hillary Clinton’s lot in life. Despite everything that’s ever been thrown at her, she’s remained a funny and surprisingly nice person who is still friends with people she knew in kindergarten…but she surrounds herself with people who do really dumb things and she makes herself look dumb by first not stopping then and second by lying about the dumb things and creating a giant mess. Does anyone really want Huma loose in the White House doing whatever weird stuff she likes to do when this email server thing is a flashing neon danger sign that Team Hillary should not win this election. As much as the me from 2008 is pained to say that. It’s sadly the truth.
If you enjoy the writing here, Kevin DuJan and Megan Fox have a book available called SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment. Available on Amazon! When you read it, please tell us what you think as well. If local corruption and police abuse upsets you, then you will be shocked by what we uncovered in the Chicago suburbs.
[Some scenes around Chicago this week that I thought were pretty and posted to Sassy Plants]
The purpose of a “doom antidote” or “fear porn repellant” is to take a deep breath, cool down, and rationally ponder if what the tee-vee is screaming about today or what the headlines are bleeding is true…or if it is just hysteria ginned up for ratings. Being in front of the computer screen (or, worse, the tee-vee screen) for too long is bad for everyone. Listening to conspiracy theories (even the ones that are probably right) for hours on the radio in the dark is not healthy either. Sometimes, you need to pull yourself away, head outdoors, look for interesting (or, dare I dream…sassy!) things in nature to photograph, and enjoy the real world (not the fake, twisted, messed up Internet world).
After you collect yourself, take a look at the day’s headlines and ask yourselves if the weird fantasies and wish-casting being pushed by various pundits is real…or if it’s bad alternate universe fan-fiction (usually of the dystopian, worst-case-scenario possible bent).
Here are some thoughts on what’s plastered all over today (and why none of it is really the end of the world):
1. JK Rowling decided to emblacken (make a white character black in later versions of a work) Hermione Granger in the new Harry Potter play, “The Cursed Child,” despite Rowling using terminology in her books that clearly indicated that Granger was white. I think it’s insulting to black people when entertainment companies (or a beloved brand like Rowling) do this…because to me it means that black people are an afterthought to them and they only get the leftovers and hand-me-down characters. Rowling wanted to prove what a Big Thinker she was (and how enlightened she is!) by turning Hermione black retroactively, but really she’s just putting a big spotlight on how she didn’t bother to create a central black character in the Harry Potter books back when she had the chance in the 1990s. Making Hermione black now in a stage play seems stupid when the stage play could have created a new and original black character. Rowling is one of the most beloved people on the planet but I think all her billions and the nonstop gushing of praise on her has gotten to her head and she’s become one of the politically correct zombies that so infest Hollywood.
2. Bizarre Clickbait Fantasy #1: People saying that Hillary Clinton will not be the Democrats’ 2016 nominee. I was really surprised to see how strong Bernie Sanders’ support is, especially amongst gay people. Back in 2008, the gay guys I knew who didn’t support Hillary and were for Obama said in apologetic tone that they liked Hillary but thought it would be cool to have a black president, so they were voting for him instead. They promised in the future if Hillary ran again that they would back her…but almost every one of those people are really rabid for Bernie Sanders. That was a complete shock to me and indicates that their support for Obama was more than that they just wanted a hip, cool, black man as president…but that they have really strong Leftist leanings and that’s what they want government to be. Hillary gets pummeled by conservative writers all the time…but she’s not the radical Leftist dream candidate that Obama was and that Sanders would be. Which is why she is having so much trouble locking up this nomination. Democrats are in for a really rough fall no matter what happens, because those Sanders people are nasty…nastier even than the Obama acolytes were in the 2008 campaign. I have never seen hatred as strong as that being spewed by the Sanders crowd, who promise to essentially riot if Sanders is not the nominee. But, Democrats will never let him take the nomination from Hillary and permanently cement the DNC’s transformation into the Socialist Party. I am glad I am not a Democrat anymore because I would want no part in the quixotic fence-mending that needs to be attempted in Philadelphia when Hillary becomes the first female presidential nominee. The only thing that will save them is if Sanders becomes her VP, which I doubt the DNC would want but having him on the ticket is the only way that the Sanders thugs will be quieted.
3. Bizarre Clickbait Fantasy #2: Bill Kristol’s third party nonsense. Wasn’t 1992 clear enough? The way a Clinton wins the White House is for some kind of third party bid to siphon enough Republican votes away for Hillary to become the 45th President of the United States. If you don’t want that to happen, don’t do the Ross Perot Redux thing. I was in high school for that election and Ross Perot won our school’s mock election by a large swath. This fantasy of going third party is something that appeals to a lot of people. There’s a romance and rebellion in it. But, all it does is ensure the Clintons move back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Do not kid yourself otherwise, no matter how noble you believe third party runs are…or how you wish you lived in a world where a third party win was possible. We do not live in that world. We live in the world where it has been proven that a third party candidate guarantees a Clinton wins the presidency.
4. Enough about the gorilla (let’s talk about how precious human life is instead): I find it stomach-turning that so much ink, column space, and tee-vee time is being devoted to one gorilla that was killed in a zoo (to save a human child) when so little attention is ever given to the millions of American children who are murdered every year by the ghouls at Planned Parenthood. I don’t want to even link to a story about the gorilla (even though I was sad he had to die, but a human child’s life must always take precedence over an animal’s)…so instead watch this video of how awful Planned Parenthood in Illinois is and how hypocritical all of this upset over a zoo animal is when the people upset don’t ever care about all the human children senselessly murdered for no reason.
Sometimes, it’s overwhelming how much craziness is pushed by the Dinosaur Media. It’s really toxic and unhealthy. But, if you remember that the media does this to keep everyone in a perpetual state of crippled, frost-fingered terror (because people are easier for the government to control that way…and ratings are higher that way) then I think life is so much more enjoyable and this election season doesn’t feel like the Fall of Western Civilization so much as a much-needed course correction that’s been eight years coming.
[Click above to embiggen: some of my nature photos, which I collect on the Sassy Plants Facebook page.]
One of my hobbies in the last few years has been taking pictures whenever I am out and about in Chicago and posting them to Facebook. Sometimes it upsets me that the Drudge headlines for Chicago are always about all the murders and the corruption here, when it’s a very lovely place.
So many people that I’ve known while I’ve been here are either moving away or have already left. A surprising number of Chicagoans (at least in Boystown) headed to Atlanta, in what felt like an exodus. Things are getting ridiculously expensive here, especially if you have a car. The City is so desperate for revenue that they keep coming up with new ways to tax or punish anyone who drives. It’s also expensive just taking the trains. A lot of people are being priced out…but, still others are feeling unsafe, largely because of how the news portrays the city. Then, of course, there’s that potential serial killer hunting the expressways…with something like 22 shootings so far that everyone on the ground thinks is one person (or a duo, like the Beltway Sniper) but the police just claim is random gang violence.
I never like hearing Chicago called “the next Detroit” because I don’t think that’s true. We’re in a strange period here because the City needs a tough as nails, tyrant of a Mayor to thrive…and Rahm Emanuel is a terrible Mayor. He’s really allowed this city to become a powder keg and his grip on power is so tenuous at this point that the sharks are circling for him. I think things will get worse before they get any better, as he doesn’t have sense enough to resign. So, the city will teeter on the precipice of chaos and ruin as long as he’s in office.
I’m not one of those people who wakes up in the morning and focuses on the impending apocalypse of the moment though. Chicago is a vibrant place full of talented and exceptional people, with a lot of beauty and advantages to living here. I think we’re in a national period of political collapse unlike anything seen in decades, but I don’t think that’s something to ruin your summer over. Too many people I’ve known in recent years have gotten sucked into FOX News on the tee-vee and the sky-is-falling! doom du jour and I just think that’s so unhealthy. I don’t know why anyone in their right mind even has cable, let alone watches cable news.
Get outside and enjoy the summer. Turn off the tee-vee and plug it for a week and see if you really miss it. If you like watching sports, find a cool sports bar or restaurant and watch the games there with other people and make new friends. Or, even better, find a local college and watch all the baseball or other sports you want for free when the college teams play and practice in a field near you.
Stimulate your mind by picking a local board of some kind and looking into and reporting on what it has been doing. Go to their meetings and become a regular speaker during public comment. Ask questions, and keep asking them until the public body gives you answers. Use Freedom of Information Act requests to dig up all their dirt. You can laugh, but it’s really a fun hobby studying these local boards. Megan Fox and I have been doing it for three years now and we juggle about a dozen boards now that we monitor, audit their spending, and bust the bad board members who are up to no good. Library boards were the subject of our first book…and the one we’re writing now is about village boards. We have material for a full series of books based on just the last three years of attending board meetings and investigating things that the Dinosaur Media refuses to investigate.
If you love politics, I guess my point is that you should get involved in your local area’s politics and don’t let the FOX News talking points rule your day. I just got done talking a friend off the ledge who was crazed today about Brad Thor and Glenn Beck. I have met Brad Thor several times at different Tea Pary events in Chicago and I’ve always liked him; I can’t imagine he’s someone who would ever want to assassinate a president (or anyone). But, I question why a fiction writer is being interviewed so often about politics when Thor is wired to write Richard Castle-like fictional thrillers. That’s how he’s programmed. I write satire and have jokes in everything I write, which is also how I speak. I give Thor the benefit of the doubt that his wiring to write thrillers creeps into how he speaks on the fly.
Doing interviews is hard because so much focus is on speaking well, carrying yourself well on camera, listening to what the interviewer is saying and responding, and sometimes the human brain is not as fast on the uptake as it should be. I’ve told jokes that bombed in interviews, or I messed them up by slurring a word or mispronouncing something. It’s hard to be spot-on every time. I regret that Brad Thor is being pilloried in so many places when I can say that the guy I’ve met a few times and had some good conversations with is a very nice man who is not the monster that he is being made out to be by opportunists.
But, this is what happens when people get so cranked up about what they see on cable news, which is desperate for ratings. They bring on a fiction writer of thrillers and then take advantage of an awkward exchange he engaged in (which sounds like a plot point from one of his books)…and then for a week very nice people are upset all day over something that doesn’t have much real bearing on them. There’s so much more to life that this energy could be spent on.
I have never been happier than I am focusing on local matters in Chicagoland and trying to oust bad board members, reduce spending waste, and change bad local policies. I am so much more fulfilled doing this than I ever was focusing on the national political circus. I loved writing the book SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment and am enjoying working on my second book with Megan Fox, which I hope to have on Amazon by the end of summer.
I am challenging myself to find something every week about Chicago that I’ve never done, never been to, never experienced and enjoying it (snapping pictures all the way for Sassy Plants). I love enjoying nature wherever it’s found in this urban setting. My goal is to make a bunch of new friends, have some fun times, and bust a handful more terrible boards this summer. I want to see as many live theater shows as I can, read as much as I can, and continue writing my own books with Megan.
This is going to be a great summer, in Chicago and everywhere. In the fall, we’ll elect a new president…and the world is not going to end. Sorry if that’s a spoiler. I think it’s exciting that for the first time ever it really feels like the Establishment is collapsing and the public is revolting against the status quo. This is a good thing. And we will all survive no matter how it shakes out. I have a true sense of peace about that. For some reason, my friend really needed to hear this today and I talked him down off his ledge so I shared the same sentiments here with you.
Back in 2008, I started writing this site because it was easier just to do this than to talk many people I knew off ledges during the crazy primary campaign that year. I have always had a love/hate relationship running this site because it takes so much out of me and when doing it I am unable to do other things that are more fun or enjoyable to me. For a while I’ve felt that the Internet has become an irredeemably nasty and foul place that does little good. It wasn’t like this back in 2008. I think it was the rise of smart phones and the abundance of Millennials (who are quick to attack and try to censor any opinion they don’t like) and the spur-of-the-moment immediacy of our culture today. In many ways, the Internet became incredibly toxic. I think possibly the pendulum is starting to swing back the other way, though.
I have so many mixed feelings about this coming election. I plan to start sharing them, which is hard because there is so much to process. These might be the strangest days that Americans have ever lived through. We will survive them, but the strangeness of it all will definitely be something for the history books.
What think you?
[Click above to embiggen: The Orland Park Public Library does not carry on its shelves the book SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment, even though this library claims every fall that any book that is deliberately not carried is “banned” or “censored” by the library that does not carry it. If they don’t carry a book that is critical of them, isn’t the Orland Park Public Library staff banning and censoring this book?]
* The American Library Association (ALA) hosts an event every year called “Banned Books Week,” which Thomas Sowell once called “National Hogwash Week.”
* The ALA claims that a book is “banned” if any parent ever complains about the book’s contents for young children. By this logic, the ALA would say it is age discrimination if a parent doesn’t want his/her child to look at Playboy or the Karma Sutra in a public library. The parent would be “banning” those adult books by merely voicing concern over the appropriateness for a child.
* Since the release of SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment, numerous members of the ALA have aggressively tried to suppress the book (aka “banning it”) by posting fake, negative reviews on Amazon (without ever having read the book). Also, libraries are refusing to carry SHUT UP! on their shelves…which is the very definition of “banning” according to the ALA.
* Hypocrisy, thy name is librarian.
In 2013, my friend Megan Fox and I stumbled upon the fact that no one seems to ever ask questions about how public library boards spend the millions of dollars of taxpayer money they are allotted each year in Illinois. In Chicagoland, the media once in a while busts bad school boards for going out to lavish dinners, staying in hotels for conferences in town, or expensing vacations to Florida or Hawaii or wherever and writing it off as “board education.” But, what are library boards doing? They get as much money as some school districts or park districts…only no one ever seems to question how that money is spent (just trusting that libraries aren’t misspending it).
We quickly realized that anyone who wants to fleece taxpayers and get away with it should probably think of running for a seat on a public library board. More often than not, people run opposed for those seats…and the benefits are outrageous. Since library boards are never scrutinized and the public almost never attends library board meetings, unscrupulous individuals who win seats on public library boards can pretty much do whatever they want.
We caught members of the Orland Park Public Library board stealing gold jewelry, putting in for large travel expense checks without receipts to back anything up, going on trips to “conferences” but never having any proof they actually attended conference events, throwing large sums of money at “contractors” who were paid big bucks for jobs that library employees could have (and should have) done for no extra pay, etc.
Read the rest of this entry »
[XANADU is playing at the American Theater Co. at 1909 W. Byron in Chicago 60613 (close to the Addison Brown Line stop); 6 shows weekly through July 31st, with tickets available at ATCWeb.org.]
What a way to start a fabulous summer in Chicago! The American Theater Company’s production of XANADU is the most fun I’ve had at any show in years, probably since I saw Smokey Joe’s Cafe at the Royal George several seasons ago (and am still humming along to all the fun songs from that, too). Approaching 40, XANADU’s early ’80s nostalgia is for me what Smokey Joe’s 60s nostalgia was for Baby Boomers in the generation above me…a fun evening of songs I remember from childhood, tuned up and refreshed for the here and now in a show that transported me to someplace fun and carefree for 90 nonstop minutes (with no intermission!).
For those who don’t know, XANADU is a stage retelling of Olivia Newton-John’s 1980 feature-length music video for her album (you guessed it) XANADU. I’ve always thought this movie was the most genius thing that any record company ever did, better than Purple Rain for Prince, Captain EO for Michael Jackson, Vibes for Cyndi Lauper, or Who’s That Girl for Madonna. It doesn’t seem like Newton-John ever fancied herself as an actress or dreamed she would have a film career…and I don’t believe anyone who worked on the movie thought they were creating a cinematic masterpiece for the ages. They knew this was camp, not high-art, when they were making it and understood that not everything in life has to be excruciatingly serious high-art. They all wanted to sell copies of the XANADU album and make it a big hit, so the movie was an extended music video for that, playing in theaters a year before MTV hit cable…and whatever anyone thought was cool or neat to see on a movie screen, they just threw into XANADU (like they were grade-schoolers bedazzling an art project until they could not possibly bedazzle it anymore).
You won’t read many reviews of the XANADU stage production that don’t trash the 1980 movie because I think critics enjoy feeling smug and good about themselves for making fun of things (from a long time ago, for Millennial critics in particular). There seems to be peer pressure amongst these cynics that if they don’t trash the 1980 movie then they cannot feel superior to the people who either made or just enjoyed the 1980 movie. That attitude is prejudiced and misplaced here, because XANADU was a product of its time that plays like a time capsule from an era now lost. It’s as if it was written and produced by a focus group of cutting-edge 1980 trend-followers, who shoved whatever they thought was “hot” at the moment into one movie: leg-warmers, neon, feathered hair, roller skating, disco…XANADU has it all! That movie is a window back in time…to a moment at the end of the Carter Era, just before Reagan took office, when Americans were sick of the gloom and malaise and stagflation and aspired for something more carefree and optimistic (in a time that people now derisively view as being devoid of culture or art). The musical actually references this, with confusion amongst the muses about whether they are in Venice, Italy in the 1780s or Venice, California in the 1980s…and there’s groans about being in the “wrong” place.
I could argue on behalf of the 1980s being a particularly spectacular time to be alive (as I was there), but I’ll save that for another day. Those of us who were there know the truth…and those Millennials who weren’t there are just jealous. Because the ’80s were fun and campy and people did things without being glued to phones and electronic gadgets…and I am grateful every day that I remember what it was like to be part of that simpler world.
There’s a hilarious line in the stage production of XANADU that calls all of this ’80s campiness “children’s theater for 40-year-old gay people,” which is the most accurate description imaginable. And that’s a great thing because we have enough cynical, depressing, dystopian, dark, and gritty you-name-it clouding over us wherever we turn (especially in Chicago these days, with what plagues our news). Being transported to an optimistic place like a roller-disco about to open in 1980 is not a bad way to spend 90 minutes on a Friday night in Illinois.
I have seen the stage production of XANADU several times, once on Broadway with the original cast in 2008 and then twice at Water Tower in Chicago when a touring company came to town in 2009. While I enjoyed all of those, there is something special about American Theater Company’s production that makes this version of XANADU the best I’ve seen yet.
The set design is transportive, largely because the venue American Theater Company uses is an old repurposed building that must have been some kind of auto body shop or other commercial/industrial space once upon a time. Walking up to the theater at 1909 W. Byron, the building surprises you, with an unassuming blink-and-you-miss-it entrance that meshes well with XANADU’s plot (involving an old building on the brink of demolition being repurposed as a roller-disco). It’s all very meta, in the best possible way, and the setting of the theater feels like a character in the show. Stepping inside, I was greeted warmly by beautiful chalk drawing murals, kitschy props and decorations, bubble gum and vibrant jolly ranchers, and fun video screens playing facts about the XANADU film and stage versions. Did you know that “Xanadu” was the name of Chinese Emperor Kubla Khan’s summer palace? You’ll learn that and more while in the lobby waiting for the show to start.
I’ve never seen a show more perfectly cast than this production of XANADU. Hats (or leg-warmers) off to director Lili-Anne Brown for assembling a group of talented young Chicago actors who really made this show their own…and I think elevated it to a place more fun than the Broadway or Water Tower productions I’ve seen. On a much smaller budget than previous productions, costume designer Samantha C. Jones made spectacular choices that I feel surpass the Broadway stagings. Jones is the first XANADU costumer I’ve ever seen make the connection between Mount Olympus and Studio 54, the pinnacle of that late-70s/early-80s elite aesthetic. When the Clash of the Titans-style gods appear at the end of this production, they’re not wrapped up in togas but instead clad in vintage Halston, the goddesses looking set-ready for cameos on Dynasty and Zeus a hilarious amalgamation of Jimi Hendrix, Richard Roundtree, and Ruby Rhod (fresh from a trip to Fhloston Paradise in The Fifth Element). See what I did there, I rapid-fired a bunch of random pop culture references at you…just like XANADU does in its 90 minutes! If you are into this kind of thing, you will love this show.
A real standout in this production is Missy Aguilar and her interpretation of Calliope. It’s hard keeping all the Greek muses’ names straight, but Calliope is one of the two villainous muses (the other, Melpomene, is delightfully played by Karla L. Beard). Calliope (you pronounce that like the music-making contraption from the ragtime era) and Melpomene (I know of no easy way to pronounce this) may remind some audiences of the characters Pain and Panic from Disney’s Hercules cartoon (which is fitting, considering the shared mythological source material). They are slap-sticky, over-the-top, comedic relief that insert themselves to move the plot forward in between Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra musical numbers. In past productions, Calliope has been played as a brash redhead with glasses and a stereotypical Bronx/New York hamminess…reminiscent of Annie Potts’ secretary character in Ghostbusters.
Aguilar largely reinvents the Calliope role and makes it her own, bringing a Chicago-ness to the part that I loved. It was refreshing to finally see someone do something new with this part and play the role in an original and memorable way. This actress really hits a home run in what’s a supporting character and in many scenes steals the show (especially when literally chewing the scenery). She was so fun to watch and her banter and timing with Beard’s Melpomene make me wish the two would score a road trip buddy comedy of some kind. They are spectacularly entertaining villains…and both are more fun to watch than most people on sitcoms airing today.
Another standout was Aaron Holland as Danny Maguire/Zeus. Again, this was another example of this production of XANADU reinventing a role in a unique way that makes the show better than previous versions I’ve seen. Both as Maguire (the Gene Kelly role in the film) and as Zeus, Holland puts his own stamp on the character. This was the fourth time I’ve seen a stage version of XANADU but Holland and Aguilar really made everything seem fresh by taking their characters in a new direction (which worked better than the original versions).
The other muses, played by Kasey Alfonso, Hanah Rose Nardone, James Nedrud, and Daniel Spagnuolo are hilarious and engage the audience frequently as they zip around on roller skates. The stage is circular, with the audience seated around as if in an actual roller rink, which adds to the fun and magic of the evening. Alfonso is particularly funny with the winks and nods she makes to the audience and the fun expressions and reactions she gives her character, even while chomping on popcorn (a very fun and obscure inside-joke reference to the original 1980 movie). Nardone is enchanting and elegant on her skates and is a master at delivering one-liners. Nedrud and Spagnuolo switch effortlessly between hamming it up in drag as “sister muses” and then butching it up as rockers or California dudes as the plot requires. They even get to play a cyclops and a centaur at one point! The fun of a comedic production like XANADU is seeing the supporting cast race backstage, switch costumes, and pop back into the show as completely different characters (which is called cast-doubling, where one actor plays various roles in a show). A lot of the blink-and-you-miss-it in-jokes come from them and they make the production seem much larger with their versatility.
The leads in this production, Jim Deselm as Sonny Malone and Landree Fleming as Kira/Clio are strong…but I think constrained in some way and unable to put as much of their own unique stamp on these parts as the supporting cast was able to do. This is no slight against Deselm and Fleming, as they are both fantastic singers, but more a reflection on the parts they have to play. Since the stage production is a parody/spoof of the original movie, the character of Sonny Malone has to be a dumb-as-rocks (but with a heart of gold) Venice Beach dreamer and Kira/Clio must be a satire of Olivia Newton-John in her big film role. Fleming is saddled with having to do a bad Australian accent (on purpose) that mutates throughout the show into various other accents (also on purpose). I hope audience members get the joke and don’t think Fleming is really bad with accents (because part of the show’s humor comes from this running gag). I will just say this because no one else ever will, but some audiences who saw previous productions of XANADU didn’t understand the jokes like this (and frankly that is the audiences’ fault, not the actors). While you don’t have to know much about the movie this is all based on, going out to see live theater requires a little more smarts and paying attention than sitting in front of reality tee-vee at home while eating pudding. I’m sorry, but that’s true. XANADU is a show for people who can embrace camp and can pay attention enough to catch a lot of rapid-fire, witty pop culture references rooted in the 1980s (with nods even to Singin’ in the Rain and other classics…including literal classics, like the Greek myths).
While watching American Theater Company’s production of XANADU on its first preview night, I couldn’t help making a list of everyone I know who I want to bring down to see this show while it’s playing through July. My friend Megan Fox‘s two daughters (Ten and Seven) are going to be over the moon when I surprise them with a trip into the city from the suburbs to see this. They study Greek myths in school, they love the ’80s music that their mom and other Gen-Xers like me grew up with, and they are both just learning to roller skate. I can’t wait for them to see this show! I listened and watched closely during the production and saw nothing that I thought was inappropriate for kids seven and up. There were a few jokes with some innuendo that I think will go right over young heads…exactly like in the Disney Hercules cartoon, come to think of it. I also plan on seeing the show again on my actual 40th birthday this coming June, since the show references itself as actual children’s theater for 40-year-old-gay-people and all. How perfect is that?
I know a show is good when I walk out of a theater itching to tell everyone I know about it. For some reason, Chicago audiences have never seemed to get the jokes or understand the campy fun of XANADU the other times productions of this show have been mounted here. Going to XANADU is like going to see a screening of Mommie Dearest at the Music Box Theater with drag queens dressed up as Joan and Christina Crawford chasing each other around during the movie with Comet cleanser and wire hangers. It’s like heading out to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show or showtunes night in a gay bar and screaming alternate lyrics to the songs playing on the screen. It is a fun, campy night that you can sing along to and dance in your seat…so I think you might need to be a fun, campy person to really get the most out of the experience. You can’t be a grump. You have to actually want to have fun on your night out to see a show and want to go out for drinks afterwards and laugh and laugh and laugh with friends over what a great time you just had.
If you are anywhere near Chicago now through July 31st and you want a great night out with friends and family, I can’t think of anything better to recommend to you than Lili-Anne Brown’s production of XANADU at American Theater Company.
Book by Douglas Carter Beane
Music & Lyrics by Richard Damus & Mark Rubel
Directed by: Lili-Anne Brown
Music Direction: Aaron Benham
Choreography: Brigette Ditmars
Scenic Design by Arnel Sancianco
Scenic Painter CoCo Ree Lemery
Costume Design: Samantha C. Jones
Melpomene/Karla L. Beard
Danny Maguire/Aaron Holland
Euterpe/Hanah Rose Nardone
I’m sharing this because it’s such a fun moment.
Megan Fox and I worked on our investigation into the sex crimes (and other illegal activity) happening in the Orland Park Public Library for a full 2 years. Just when we thought we uncovered everything there was to find, we’d stumble on something new. That Library had been covering up so much wrongdoing — with the blessing of the Village and the Police Chief — that it took us years to piece it all together. Along the way, the Village and police and the American Library Association all ganged up and tried everything they could think of to destroy us and shut us up. No one in Orland Park (or at the ALA) wanted us talking about the child pornography, sexual harassment of women, open public masturbation, and even gold theft happening at that Library.
We were even hit with a SLAPP lawsuit by the granddaughter of the woman who used to own the Chicago White Sox. All to shut us up.
But, Megan and I never stopped working, never stopped researching, and never stopped speaking out. And now every horrible thing that the Village of Orland Park, the Orland Park Police Department, the Orland Park Public Library, and the American Library Association did to us since 2013 is all being told.
Megan and I captured the moment when UPS brought us the first copies of the book. Almost three years of having everything and the kitchen sink thrown at us to shut us up and to terrorize us so we would never tell this story…yet, here it was.
666 pages of what no doubt is the American Library Association’s and the Village of Orland Park’s worst nightmares.
What a fabulous day.
SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment is available on Amazon.com now!
SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment is now available on Amazon.
The book details the harassment that Megan Fox and I received from Timothy J. McCarthy, the Orland Park Chief of Police, for several years, as the Village of Orland Park tried to scare Megan and me away from investigating sex crimes and other violations of state law that McCarthy had knowingly allowed to keep happening in the Orland Park Public Library for years.
Megan and I uncovered evidence that child pornography had been allowed by Library staff to be accessed without police being called as they should have been. The Library did not want police called on anyone engaging in sexual activity in the Library because then arrests would be made…and that would end up in the police blotter in the newspaper…and likely Drudge would find out about it. So, in a big public relations effort that McCarthy and other Village officials seem to have signed off on, the Library just kept quiet about the bad things happening in there. According to other sources, McCarthy knew for years that convicted child molesters who are barred from being around children were also using the Orland Park Public Library in violation of their parole. But he and the Orland Park Police chose not to do anything about that.
Instead, when Megan and I started uncovering what had been going on in that strange messed-up Library, McCarthy sent his goons after us. We were harassed and illegally detained while passing out political flyers. The Orland police called Megan at home to threaten her. McCarthy allowed Village and Library employees to make false police reports against us to try to frighten us away. The Orland Police would never take any action against the Library, not even when the Illinois Attorney General issued letters of determination showing that the Library Board Members had committed Class-C misdemeanors by knowingly and willfully violating the Open Meetings Act.
Timothy J. McCarthy seems to be allowed to get away with all this because back in 1981 he was the blonde Secret Service agent in a blue suit who was shot during the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan. Because McCarthy was a hero back on that awful day…for the rest of his life he gets to be a tyrant, I guess. He does what he wants, harasses who he wants, uses his police to terrorize who he wants…all because he is a “national hero” for being shot alongside Ronald Reagan and can never be questioned.
Is it smart to make a man who can never be questioned the police chief?
Is it safe for a community to have a police chief who can violate people’s civil rights and never be challenged, because he has that hero’s lifetime criticism-free pass?
Isn’t there another role that Timothy J. McCarthy could have in Orland Park besides police chief? It’s obvious people continue to want to reward and recognize him for his bravery 35 years ago…but is making him in charge of a police force really the best idea when he apparently can never be stopped from doing anything bad because of his celebrity status?
Read all about everything that McCarthy and the Orland Park Police did to us to try to shut us up in SHUT UP! (available now on Amazon).
Have you ever been at an event only to later read about it in the newspaper…but what the reporter chose to write bears no resemblance to reality? This happens all the time in Chicago, especially at local government meetings. Reporters here bend over backwards to avoid reporting negatively on government boards.
They do this on the national level too, but it’s really bad on the local level. Part of it is that these reporters are taught by Leftists in college not to make the government look bad…but also the reporters seem afraid of losing access or damaging a relationship with government entities by reporting accurately on them.
Megan Fox and I have seen this over and over again over the last several years, as she and I have been attending local government board meetings around Chicago’s suburbs, where we have busted many boards for violating Illinois’ Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act and other statutes. Reporters for the Tribune, Daily Southtown, Sun-Times, 22nd Century Media, and other outlets mostly refuse to report on any of this. They just pretend the bad things that elected officials do at board meetings don’t happen. Anyone who depends on newspapers for their news thus has no idea what really happens at these meetings.
Personally, I feel that reporters lie by omission when they deliberately refuse to report what actually happened at a meeting or other event. When a reporter decides to purposely not include something in an article, then the reporter is lying. Since the reporter is lying in order to benefit the government and deny the public the truth, the reporter is then a propagandist and the newspaper resembles something that would be printed in Russia, Thailand, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, or North Korea and not the United States (at least as we used to know it).
Our latest example of piss poor reporting was done by David Lipowski of the Daily Southtown. He attended two Forest Ridge Elementary School (D-142) Board meetings in Oak Forest, Illinois that Megan and I attended…yet he refused to cover the bad behavior of board member Roxana Agler or her husband Troy Agler in his articles about the meetings. Lipowski reminds me of Norman Bates, being slight of build with a strange voice and a general air of oddness. There he sat at the 5/17/16 board meeting when Troy Agler lost his mind and launched into a deranged tirade that dropped F-bombs in front of small children…but Lipowski refused to report that in his write-up.
This is what David Lipowski refused to report on:
Where I’m from, the husband of a sitting board member standing up in the middle of a public meeting, screaming the F-word, shouting about cocaine and gay sex and Obama, is newsworthy due to the fact it’s the husband of an elected official intimidating and bullying both the audience and the board. Women at the meeting were so afraid of the unhinged Troy Agler that they called the police to be escorted to their vehicles after the meeting. David Lipowski chose not to write about any of that in his article.
This is similar to how in April, when he reported on the previous D-142 board meeting, Lipowski tried to downplay Roxana Agler’s own poor behavior and the awful things she had been doing that caused the controversy with the Forest Ridge Elementary Board. There Agler sat during the meeting: pulling gum in and out of her mouth; making childish faces; getting up and stomping around the room; going over to Lipowski during the meeting and whispering things; storming towards the camera and trying to stop the public from filming during an open public meeting by putting her hand over the camera. Lipowski ignored all of this when he wrote his article.
All of this is proof that you should never trust the reporting in the Daily Southtown or any other newspaper. In my opinion, if you still have a newspaper subscription you should cancel it. If you can’t trust the reporters to actually tell you what really happened at events they are covering then why are you paying for that newspaper? If you want to read fiction, go to the library and check out the newest John Grisham or Kia Heavey adventure. Read a good mystery by Newt Love. But, don’t waste your money on reporting that’s supposed to be truthful when the reporters refuse to report the truth about the government, especially at the local level.
Reporters like David Lipowski are going to keep doing this as long as they keep getting paid. And newspapers like the Daily Southtown are going to keep paying these shameless hacks as long as people keep blindly paying for those newspaper subscriptions. The only way for the editors at these papers to wake up to the fact that the public demands the truth in reporting is for hacks like Lipowski to actually hurt the paper’s bottom line.
How you can help
1. If you subscribe to any newspaper or magazine for home delivery, cancel it. In my opinion, you should cancel your cable too so that CNN and MSNBC lose revenue as well. Defunding the Dinosaur Media in all ways possible is the first step toward eliminating their bias.
2. When you attend an event and see it written up poorly in the paper, spread the word that the reporter is lying, either by omission or in an outright way. Call the paper’s editor and complain. Post comments on the article noting the truth. Take to social media and let people know that the newspaper cannot be trusted because it prints lies.
3. If you attend any kind of public event, film it and post the footage to YouTube if anything interesting or unusual happened. In the matter at hand, David Lipowski refused to report on some pretty shocking things that happened at these school board meetings because Lipowski wanted to help the government and not tell the truth to the public. He would have gotten away with that if it wasn’t for the video that Megan and I filmed of these events. We were the only people filming that evening because people (especially those of us Gen-X and older) just don’t automatically whip out their cameras to film when something starts happening. We all need to get better at that. Even a cellphone video as something is happening is great. Don’t worry about the quality of the footage because just capturing screaming and yelling or other outbursts during a board meeting or some other event with elected officials is enough to show that something awful happened that the Dinosaur Media and hacks like David Lipowski refused to report on.
The more people see that the reporters are lying to them, by omission or otherwise, then the less relevant and effective the lies that the Dinosaur Media tells will be.
Help chip away further at the Dinosaur Media’s remaining power by busting their bias and piss poor reporting wherever you can.