Republicans listen, Democrats preach. – Bill Maher
It’s one thing for the general sweaty public to become mask narcs, but it’s another thing entirely for a business entity to embrace that role, particularly when their survival is wholly dependent on staying in their customers’ good graces.
The narc phenomenon becomes even more inexplicable when you consider most local businesses swiftly realized that enforcing Governor Pointless’ second illegal mandate a lose-lose prospect of epic proportion. So, they quietly let it go. With rare exception, I haven’t worn a “useless face decoration” in six months and no one’s said a word.
The mandate may have mercifully expired this week, for all intents and purposes, it’s been utterly ignored for that same half year. But that blitheringly obvious reality hasn’t stopped the king of Illinois progressives, Governor Pritzker, from pounding his fist on the podium like a defiant Eric Cartman shouting, “Respect my authoritah!”
This rampant public plague fatigue only serves to highlight those entities that persist in swimming against the tide of these eroding mitigations even when it’s not nearly in their best interest to do so. As we noted in a previous column, minimal power corrupts absolutely even when applying that power means your own self destruction.
Here are three perfect examples of what I mean.
Though they seem to be paying the highest prices, the first and least egregious case is Elgin Community College’s Blizzard Theater. With all the entertainment options available – in our own homes, no less – who really wants to trudge out to a theatre on a frigid winter night only to be asked that ubiquitous war movie question “papers please” at the front door?
And that form of quasi-fascism is especially ironic when you consider that a counterfeit vaccine card requires nothing more than an inkjet printer and some heavy cardstock. Not to mention no one can catch COVID in the expanse of well-ventilated theater, either.
But despite that distasteful HIPAA violation, my wife and I recently headed out to the Blizzard’s Max Weinberg’s Jukebox concert only to be shocked by all the empty seats. Sure. Some of it can be chalked up to irrational COVID fear, but I’ve never seen an 80 percent vacancy rate at that venue in the more than ten years we’ve been buying tickets.
At least those ECC ushers didn’t force errant wearers to pull their masks over their nose, but the folks at Aurora’s Paramount Theatre certainly did. I knew it was a mistake to head down there but considering that I drag my wife to stuff she’s not too excited about, we masked up for a Saturday afternoon performance of “Groundhog Day.”
Of course, having pulled the mask below my nose during the show, one of the ushers made a beeline for me during halftime and stood there ‘til I pulled it back up. What I really wanted to say to her was, “Perhaps you should go ask the Aurora Police officer monitoring the lobby to do the same damn thing,” but logic doesn’t work with progressives and I didn’t want to make a scene.
Then, the musical was so absurdly bad that I gave up 15 minutes into the second half and went out to the lobby to read my book. Since there wasn’t a solitary soul within 20 yards, I pulled the mask down as I read.
And sure enough! Ten minutes later an usher made a beeline for me and demanded I put the mask back on. My terse explanation of my magnificent social distancing capacity notwithstanding, his repeated response was “It’s our policy.” I finally gave up and complied, but he clearly got the reference when I asked him, “So, you’re only following orders, right?”
There weren’t as many empty seats as there were at the Blizzard, but there were far more than I’ve seen at any previous Paramount Broadway Series event.
Again, when there’s no risk of plague transmission and no one within eyesight, why would any business want to unduly aggravate a customer in this kind of unfathomably stupid and pointless manner. I used to LOVE the Paramount, but aside from finishing out this year’s series with “Rock of Ages,” I have no intention of going back there. Not to mention this story is now out there for everyone to see.
But the best example of this vast progressive tone-deafness, bar none, rests with the Geneva, Illinois, Park District.
Regardless of where you sentiments stand, the one thing we can all agree on is that the tone of the mask debate has recently risen to a fever pitch. That’s why the smart businesses simply stay out of it. But that start reality didn’t stop the Park District from issuing their spring 2022 program guide complete with a cover photograph of masked six-year-olds playing football outdoors.
ON THE FRICKEN’ COVER! As you might imagine, the social media response has been brutal even by social media standards. The comments I can actually print include “I threw it right in the garbage,” “I tossed it in the fire,” and “Just more Park District propaganda.”
You mean to tell me the no board member, no staff member, and not a single soul involved with that guide had the good sense to stand up and say, “Does anyone really think it would be a good idea to infuriate more than half of our customers for absolutely no good reason? Why don’t we put a picture of Sunset Pool on the cover?”
Because if those social media responses are any indication, there are a slew of Genevans who will never patronize the park district again. And when their program revenue plummets as any third grader could’ve predicted, the District will come right back to us for a tax levy increase.
My theory is the Director, the Board, and anyone associated with the release of that absurdly tone-deaf guide should be asked or forced to resign.
But let’s get back to our main point which is that minimal power corrupts so absolutely that progressives will apply it regardless of the efficacy of that application, or any of the obvious “hoist by their own petard” consequences. Despite a series of repercussions that were eminently predictable, after the smoke finally clears, the folks at the Blizzard, the Paramount, and the Park District will still have the nerve to look each other in the eye and say “What the heck happened?”
Make no mistake, this is exactly why the Democrats are going to get their sorry ample asses handed to them in the impending mid-term elections. And their inevitably arrogant response to that electoral slaughter will be…wait for it…“We weren’t woke enough.”
To quote Bill Maher one more time:
Democrats no longer possess the common sense to know that not every problem can be fixed with a regulation. Democrats have to stop thinking that what voters dream about is to be hassled.