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Saturday, October 08, 2011

Just another day in the Loop

We have hit that warm stretch of early fall, popularly referred to as "Indian Summer." I am not sure that this description is still considered to be politically correct, but I don't know what else to call it.

There are no trees to speak of in Chicago's Loop, so we don't see the leaves turning color. As the days shorten, you notice that it is darker when you step off the train in the morning and darker when you step back on at night to go home. You are grateful for the lingering warmth because the big freeze will be on us soon enough.

A splinter group of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement has taken up residence at LaSalle & Jackson, near the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Chicago Board of Trade. They, too, were enjoying the fine weather, banging on drums and yelling at guys in ties. It is a small group, expressing generalized dissatisfaction with the status quo. It is hard to figure out what their goals might be. Sometimes you just need to bang drums and yell - beats sitting at home, unemployed and grumpy. One fellow was carrying a sign - "Lost my job - Found an Occupation." That sums it up, I guess.

I went to a breakfast session held by a downtown business group. There was a panel of three economists and investment strategists. They all said that the U.S. is not in a recession yet, but the growth trajectory is so low that many people aren't noticing any change. One of the panel members fulminated about the Baby Boom generation, how the debt crisis is directly linked to the same lack of character and self-discipline in that group that led to an explosion of illegal drug use. He believes that things will gradually get better as younger people move into power positions in government and business. Hmmmmmmm. The panel broke up, we all networked over coffee for a bit. I could be mistaken, but it looked like some people had a slightly panicked look in their eyes.

I saw a guy collapsed on the sidewalk as I walked to the train on Thursday evening. He was bald and overweight. He fell at Monroe near Canal. I think he was dead. The paramedics were working him over but they didn’t seem like they were saving a life - they lacked that "911" urgency. I think I heard one of them say “He’s gone.” If so, RIP, stranger.

Last Thursday was also the day that the obituaries for Steve Jobs were printed. I have always thought that it is dumb to mourn for a famous person that you have never met, but I couldn't avoid it. He was the best of the Boomers.

For some reason, I was happy when Thursday ended.


oregonbird said...

Wonderful description of the day. Who doesn't enjoy the ghost of impending apocolypse wrapped in the drifting seasonal tides of a cityscape?

I hope you take the time to read the first statement released by OWS - while individuals prioritize their hopes, dreams and goals, that statement, with it's 21 stated objectives, pretty well covers what the 99 Percent hope to begin to achieve. The Fix for Congress put out by the rich guy who's been ignored right along with the working and middle class, would be an equal start to deal with the crux of the problem.

I wish I understood the sentiment people feel towards Jobs. It seems to come from the same place as the loss felt when Jackson died - all the worst that they did isn't just set aside, it is made to disappear. Jobs' hoarded billions were made, literally, at the hands of slaves. How can anyone forget that?

Mr. G said...

Thanks for your passionate comment, and thanks for taking time to read this blog. Take care of yourself out there.