A random entry from off by one

Wed Mar 16 12:00:29 CST politician's names everywhere vs. the cta:

I will miss the CTA (and the RTA). It's not the greatest public transit system in the world, but it's adequate. I'll definitely miss the big old noisy trains rumbling all over the place on their age-old rusty riveted steel tracks. I'll miss transferring to the Red line at Belmont. I'll miss jogging up Ravenswood with Metra trains zooming by. I'll miss catching the Foster bus to Jeff Park to hop the Blue Line to O'Hare. (I won't miss the busses being late all the time.)

Anyway, there's something very cosmopolitan about being in a place where rail transit is a practical necessity. It says something about the kind of city you live in, what it affords and requires, and it's a neat engineering feat, which the geek in me likes. I also like old, rusty things, so I like the CTA for what it is -- commodity parts made into a city transit system. None of these "West Coast" welded rails for us, by gum! Ooh, I'll also miss that big junction downtown in the loop. I like to sit in the back of the train and watch it go by -- it almost makes you feel like you're part of someone's model railroad set.

I won't miss seeing Politician's names and faces everywhere. Richard M. Daley. John H. Stroger. Jesse White. Politics in Chicago is a machine, and the first thing that inhuman intelligence learned was that voters vote for people they know over people they don't. And thus began the practice of the Name Game in Chicago -- slapping a mayor, attorney general, judge, commissioner or president's name all over anything it could possibly be slapped on. SO you drive down the street and see a forest preserve sign, underneath that it will say, it says, "John H. Stroger, Commissioner." Or a sign for Chicago, "Richard M. Daley, Mayor" -- or anything that has to do with the Department of Transportation, and you'll see Jesse White's name, and (for added recognition) usually his face, too! I don't really have anything against Jesse, but there he is, smiling broadly, in front of an bright American flag. At our local DMV on Elston, there are probably 15 portraits of Jesse White on the walls... I don't know if there are even 15 pictures of Jesus on the walls of my church.


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