Quick Hits – June 16, 2017

Don’t go to North Korea!

I can’t believe it has to be said. With the exception of Dennis Rodman, any American that sets foot in that ashtray of a country is playing the equivalent of Russian roulette with five of the six chambers locked and loaded.

And any sentence that begins with “With the exception of Dennis Rodman,” means the sentiment is abundantly self-evident. It’s not as if that regime bothers with any pretense. Congress is talking about some sort of DPRK travel ban, but I really don’t need their input to come to that conclusion.

Before we proceed, let me clearly state that no 22 year-old college student should come back from any foreign county with irreversible brain damage after being detained for 17 months. But it’s not an eminently unpredictable outcome, either.

So, what gets me is the parents blaming everyone but themselves. Where did a 21 year-old college student get the kind of money it takes to go on a very expensive North Korean tour? I understand their anger and I mourn the loss of their son, but to point a finger at Barack Obama or the State Department is beyond the pale.

If you go swimming in a pond with gator warning signs clearly posted, I won’t be coming in after you. If either of my college sons told me they wanted to visit the DPRK, I’d explain the dire fiscal consequences in no uncertain terms.

Don’t go to North Korea! And if you do, be prepared to live with the consequences.


Elgin comes up with a public art plan

Before we get started, you all know I love Elgin. You also know that anything that starts with that kind of fond stipulation means I’m about to get kinda critical of the subject involved.

To wit, it looks like the Elgin City Council will approve the Cultural Arts Commission’s first public art plan, which includes:

  • A new two- and three-dimensional public piece of art each year.
  • A spontaneous summer art wall where anyone can add art (what could possibly go wrong with that?).
  • A donate-a-wall program where businesses can have murals painted on their buildings at their own expense.
  • Neighborhood 50/50 public art grants.
  • A utility box artwork program.
  • Residents and business owners can sponsor additional public art.

While it certainly looks good on the surface, I just can’t muster up the energy to get very excited about it. You see, this is supposed to be their answer to the ‘American Nocturne’ fiasco when there’s only one good answer.

American Nocturne

Until and unless the City Council and Commission takes responsibility for botching that scenario so badly by diving directly into censorship, it’s the equivalent of painting smiley faces on a train wreck and saying, “See! All better!”

For the uninitiated, ‘American Nocturne’ is a mural by Elgin artist David Powers depicting the bottom half of an infamous Indiana lynching photograph. The painting stood for a decade in a downtown Elgin plaza until someone finally noticed.

In what can only be referred to as a complete clusterbleep, the Arts Commission demonstrated they had all the backbone of Donald Trump by taking the painting down. Then white people tried to decide what was best for black folks, the pissant artist disowned the piece, the black community was understandably divided and the situation spiraled downward from there.

God, liberals are bleepin’ annoying!

Real art is supposed to make people think. Sadly, that means, in the era of knee-jerk reactions, someone is bound to be offended. And what the politicians and newspapers aren’t telling you is, neither the City Council nor the Arts Commission will permit any sponsored piece without their express written consent.

Art is uniquely human and truly amazing thing. I like to think my vast body of prose as a work of art. But the second government gets involved, it starts to suck, because anytime art is sanitized in this big brother manner, it becomes pointless.

So, paying heed to my more conservative side, it’s time for Elgin to get out of the art businesses and let the free market reign. Short of racist scenes of death and dismemberment, if a business or homeowner wants a mural or piece of art on their property, let ‘em do it. If the city wants to sponsor public pieces or have utility boxes painted, then get out of the way and let the artist do their thing.

Either that, or give up the art prospect altogether, because someone’s always going to choose to be offended, and if you don’t have the cohones to stand your ground…


A budget deal?

Word on the street is, today, Governor Rauner will settle the budget battle for a strawberry Popsicle. And the Dems better jump at this prospect, because tomorrow he might decide he wants the firstborn son of every General Assemblyman – for dinner.

God, conservatives are bleepin’ annoying!


4 thoughts on “Quick Hits – June 16, 2017

  1. Uh, anybody BESIDES Jeff think of his work as art? Hello anybody??? Bueller? Bueller?

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