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The Week That Was: Welcoming Our New Corporate Overlords

By Staff in News on Nov 9, 2014 9:30PM

Photo credit: John Gress/Getty Images

The corporate takeover of our state and fair city is moving along quite nicely, and is well ahead of schedule.

This week alone, we placed a venture capitalist in the governor’s mansion, voted to put investors in charge of—and ahead of,—our children, and got a glimpse of the monstrosity our mayor plans to let his brother’s Hollywood friend build on our precious lakefront.

Though Gov. Pat Quinn was slow to acknowledge it after his staff read him one too many tortoise-and-hare stories, Bruce Rauner and his record campaign expenditure won the day Tuesday and he will serve as our Dismantler-in-Chief. Think of him as Rahm Emanuel, but taller and with cheaper clothes.

But, hey, let’s give him a shot. Rauner says he’s going to shake things up, and nothing suggests a radical departure from Illinois’ poisonous political culture, like naming Bill Daley to your transition team.

We discovered Chicago’s early childhood program will be manipulated to make sure the elite have a chance to profit from it. Not only will taxpayers pay double the money in order to finance this thing so the Pritzkers and some financial institution can make a healthy return on their investments, the bankers get to skim 10 percent, or $1.7 million, right off the top for their troubles.

A 100 percent return on an investment and vigorish? You know Frank “Lefty’’ Rosenthal would be jealous.

And we were shown a glimpse of what our lakefront would look like if we were—or when we become—the Wisconsin Dells. Preliminary images of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art and Long, Vague, Last-Minute Titles Designed to Make Things Sound More Important and Artistic than They Are were revealed, and the architectural community responded in unison: “Yikes!’’

And what, exactly, IS a museum of narrative art? As far as I can tell this vanity project is a way for George Lucas to clean out his attic without having a garage sale, because I’m sure his Napa neighbors frown on that sort of thing. So it will contain old Ewok costumes, a couple of Vargas pinups, and his Norman Rockwell collection. Is this a museum or a pawn shop?

My theory about the images is that they are designed to be hideous, so ghastly, so off-putting, that when they come up with something that isn’t patently offensive, we’ll breathe a sigh of relief and forget to mount a fight against the museum’s placement on our iconic lakefront.

The Lucas Museum design was compared to a space ship, a nuclear reactor and even Jabba the Hut. I think the architect, a man who spent some time in Chicago, might have secretly taken his cues from a more local source: Blob from the old “B.J. and the Dirty Dragon’’ show.


Let’s assume it gets built. Then the mayor gets his casino. Then preparations begin for the lakefront Hannah-Barbara-themed water park, miniature golf course, flume ride, and arcade. And then Tommy Bartlett expands his waterskiing extravaganza to Chicago and the transformation is complete.

Start saving up for a slot in the Daniel Burnham timeshare complex now.

And that was the week that was.

—Tony Boylan

'The Week That Was'' is a satirical, yet informative, look back at recent news. We consider it to be mostly accurate