Well its hump day, but aren't you a wee bit grateful for the good white people in charge of the calender? They gave you an extra day off! (But for those of us who are un or underemployed, we're used to it and annoyed by the extra bodies in Trader Joes because they have the day off. It's like pick a box of Joe Joes and move along asshole. Some of us would like to get back to watching Maury). Alas Happy Labor Day to all of my fellow union members. Proud to serve Screen Actors Guild, Actors Equity Association and The Disciples of Mild Sauce.
This is a special edition of Slick's Picuyane Tribune Times. All about the Chicago Political Machine.
And after consuming a six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon, God Created the Daley's
Say it ain't so! Mayor Richard M. Daley has announced that after 21years as mayor to the city of Big Shoulders will not seek re-election. This news is more shocking then when the condom gets sucked into your vaginal walls and you can't find it for hours. Then you hate yourself for doing kegels. Despite your partner trying to calm your nerves, and his idiotic idea to use pliers to fish the lost condom out-- fear and panic sets it. Because just when you thought you knew what to expect--the game changes and you are left to wonder "How is this happening?" And "what's going to happen to us???"
Yet on the other hand, scores of Chicagoan's say good riddance. Notably those who reside below 35th street and west of the United Center. They are doing praise dances like at the end of The Wiz when the wicked witch dies.
For you squares not hipped to the Chicago Political Machine welcome. Haymarket Riots, '68 Democratic National Convention, Black Panther Party are all events that forever changed the political climate in Chicago. No no don't open a new tab and go to wikipedia for a defintions. Your rollicking wet nurse has already unhooked her bra, and is ready feed you some knowledge.
Fractured Fairytales: A History of Toddlin' Town Politics
Once upon a time ago, a flat grassy land nuzzled along lake Michigan and a green river filled with Asian carp, lay a city called Chicago. Now, our red brothers and sisters-- the Native Americans, were having a good time living. They hunted, scrapped the fur off and made cute hats and coats. Played lacrosse and other fun Indian games. Then one day a black man named Jean Baptiste Du Sable came along and made friends with them. He smoked on the peace pipe, and decided to inquire about the land. The red man said "hey man, it's a groovy town. Stay and set up a fur trading post. Its just us injuns and now you wavy haired negro. Here's the deed to your land. You're our first tenant. Let's live in peace and let there be no segregation in this city among us." And they did. Chicago was once a a beautiful flat city run by Reds & Blacks untouched by racial segregation---that was the last time it existed that way. Then came them damned I-talians. And Germans. And Swedes. And the Irish. Now I'm grateful for those Norse dragon flying viking type peoples because they brought to this land granulated sugar, dough, yeast, hops and sausages--which is why Chicago is a fat city.
Now historians don't know when, but somewhere in there Capone, Dillinger, Babyface and those other goombas started terrorizing the peaceful city. They forced the injuns and coloreds out. They set up shop and bullied their way into city hall. (side note: half the streets in Chicago are named after fallen councilman. Cermak Ave? Named for Mayor Tony Cermak who was assisnated by the mob.) Boy Chicago was on its way to becoming a hell of a town.
Then Father Time ushered in a man called Richard J. Daley. And that fucker got over on Chicago politics like a fat rat in a cheese factory. The "Big Boss" as some still call him (even though he's dead as hell) ruled with an iron fist. I don't have enough space on my blog to delve into his legacy, but I'll give it to you like my mother gave it to me when I was little. We lived on the South Side in the Washington Park neighborhood at the intersection of Garfield & State Street. And along State Street--from Cermak/22nd street all the way to 54th and State were the projects. Miles of rat and roach infested box apartments. Chiefly among them were the notorious Robert Taylor Homes which were finally demolished in the new millennium.
We lived on a pretty nice block. Families were friendly and it was working class. We weren't rich, but we weren't as poor as those across the boulevard. They were brown cages that blocked the sunshine. I asked my mother once why those people lived like that. She took a long drag from her square and said "Because a fat honkey named Daley wanted to see what would happen it he stacked niggas on top of each other." His great experiment worked. For decades people lived in those undeserved communities as if they were sentenced to the fifth circle of hell. We didn't go near them for fear of our safety. Boss Daley no doubt did his best to segregate the City of Chicago. Even in 2010 it remains hypersegreated--a term created especially for our town. When I see section 8 signs, I do an about face. I'm no better than my yuppie friends up north really. When I go home and meet friends for drinks, you can best believe I always have to travel north or downtown to meet them. They NEVER offer to meet me. An adverse affect of Daley and his henchman.
So fast forward to 1989 and Father Time ushers in Richard M. Daley. Junior is full of energy and has the balls of his father. He loves this city and vows to restore it to its glory like the Columbian Exposition. He plants trees, builds wrought iron fences, murals, cows, theatres, banners for museums totally giving hope to artists. He also tore Meg Field up in the middle of the night. That shit still cracks me up. HE DEMOLISHED AN AIRPORT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. The pilots attempting to land were like "where's the goddamned runway?!!!!" Yep, the apple don't fall far.
During the years of his rule, I often complained to my mother about how Chicago was still fucked up and how much I hated it. I thought Daley Jr. didn't care about our community, and he was a jerk blah blah blah-- And once again she took a drag from her square and said "Awh, he's alright. He's just trying to un-do what his daddy did."
And she's right. I'm not a fan of all of his politics, but I must say he was a good mayor. Yes it's fucked up that he sold the parking meters, and the budget is red, the CPS is failing, and worst of all Mayor Daley banned actors from smoking on the stage. Ugh. But without he and his wife Maggie, Chicago theatre would NOT be the glorious institution that it is. I owe a great deal of my career to the Daleys. Without them, I would not have an artistic home with the Lookingglass Theatre on Michigan Ave.
My heart goes out to Maggie, a kind woman who I had the pleasure of meeting. She loves Chicago theatre and I love her for it. I pray for her ailing health, and fighting spirit. And as for Da Mayor, well he's alright by me. I met him too. I expected not to like him, but I gotta say--he's a beguiling sonofabitch and I'm proud to say he was a good mayor. Not perfect, but pretty fucking boss. We all wish that Mayor Harold Washington would rise from the dead and save us, but you know...that would be kind of creepy.
So Rahm, bring yo foul mouth mothafucking ass back to Chi City. The White House may want you, but we need you more.
Ciao for now kiddies,
NEXT BLOG: Why Rahm & Ari Emmanuel curse so fucking much. Assholes.