Thursday, March 4, 2010

Even a broken clock is right twice a day

Ald. Pat Curran complained Monday night about the design of a bridge for Mayor Morrissey's river-walk project. He's a buffoon, but he was right this time. People are going to look at it, not only a hundred years from now, but 5 years from now, and wonder, "What were they thinking?"

Seriously, take a look at the conceptual drawing and tell me this suspension bridge looks like it even remotely belongs with the arched bridges it's attached to. As my daughter would say, "WTF?" A half-baked plan by a completely-baked council.

Never mind. It's not their money they're pissing away. The state is going to pay for most of it, or so our city fathers want to believe, so that makes it OK to do it half-assed. We in Rockford are used to that. We are the champions and patron saints of mediocrity.

Tim Dimke, head of the Rockford Park District, likened the project to Rockford's version of Disneyland. The paper didn't specify, but I suspect he said it with a straight face that needs to be sullied by a drunken, angry Irishman.

Has anyone pulling the strings in town actually lived outside of Rockford? I doubt it, and they certainly don't care to listen to anyone who has. No one, I mean no one, is going to be impressed by this floating turd. Certainly not anyone from out of town. It'll be just one more place for Rockfordians to end their Forbes-confirmed miserable lives.

Then there's Ann Thompson Kelly. She spent several minutes telling everyone how she's completely against the project. Then, she voted for it. Thanks, Ann. Your lip service proves how good of a friend you are to taxpayers.

She based her support on the $3,400,000 the state is pitching in. Guess what, Ann. Those dollars come from us taxpayers, too.

The underlying theme during discussion Monday night was the support of "stakeholders," namely the Burpee Museum. Supposedly, they like the bridge design because it fits in with their own expansion project.

Jesus, let them pay for it then. They're obviously the only ones the city is trying to please with this thing. Despite being a seat of culture, it's clear the museum folks have poor taste.

The taxpayers of Rockford have roundly rejected the whole river-walk idea from its inception, and no one is listening (unless you support it). Despite the state paying for much of the cost, we could use those dollars for other things. Members of the public during the council meeting aptly noted our roads are a much more deserving cause.

Downtown is a good cause, too, but we've spent more than enough money in that ghost town lately. Let's spread it around a bit for the rest of us who travel in other parts of the city. Before any "tourists" ever reach the river, all they're going to notice is the shit quality of our roads.

Isn't it ironic that the company who builds the roads is the same company that destroys them with their huge trucks?

My derelict friends began filing in hours ago for the mayor's 5th state of the city address later today. We will be ruthlessly drunk and sleep-deprived by the time the speech hits the airwaves at 6:00. We'd considered going down to the Coronado to witness the horrors in person, but they'd never let us near the place in the condition we'll be in. Instead, we'll be huddled around the radio like it's the 1940's.

The wife was displeased with me even before our "guests" arrived, but the kitchen is her happy place away from me. The less we see of each other, the better we get along. She'll leave me any day now, and probably take the kids, but that's the way it goes for true Patriots. Sometimes, we have to sacrifice our personal lives for the greater good. I have to believe that.


  1. Point taken, Raoul: Janet & I have faced a "glass wall" of your-not-from-here-aren't-you since we've been here.

    Unlike the locals, whom let that self-imposed glass wall create the impetus for doing nothing, we “chose” to use that lack of anima to our advantage by creating what we wished to see our city become more of here on 7th Street.

    Hell, it is hard to argue with a 5.8 percent unemployment rate in Eau Claire. What is the difference? Creativity coupled with a decent education equals a more diverse economic base with a more stable, diversified tax base.

    In this point, the Mayor is correct: Education is the foundation to fixing everything here in Rockford. And I might add, that is the responsibility of every Rockfordian.

    See, Raoul, since the locals don't do anything of significance with "anima" we have watched countless success stories of them dern foreigners make it big in this closed-minded community... I'm using the term community, as in communitas, lightly.

    Why shouldn't the Sunil Puri/John Galt archetypes run rough-shod over the locals? The locals sure don't try to animate themselves to do much on their own, do they?

    Maybe, hopefully, the locals will get over their self-loathing and get on to the business of building better lives for themselves.

    Anima is all it takes, and Rockford, like Rome, was not built or rebuilt in the modern age in a day.

    Hopefully you will invite us over to hang out with your family - I'm sure our better halves have a lot in common.

  2. I'd like to think that certainly there are some intelligent people in our community somewhere who see what is really happening here. Could it be that only Raul and his faithful follower (that'd be me) are the only ones who realize that something smells rotten downtown? Maybe the poor citizens of Rockford are still morning our status among the top ten least desirable places to live. Or, perhaps, everyone is trying to stay afloat and simply does not give a fuck. However, for those of you who aren't evaporating time on Facebook or Twitter, take a couple minutes to research who owns which properties on both sides of the river. If you do you'll find a lot of LLCs with ties to those who are making these cool,hip urban revitilization decisions. Now, THAT'S not a conflict of interest! And...the bridge...WTF?! is completely appropriate. The State of IL is going to contribute a couple million dollars to the project? Was this before or after the announcement that municipalities in the state would be receiving at least 3% less than what they usually do? As for the nonprofits - do some funding research for pete's sake! There's still plenty of foundation and other resources out there which don't squeeze the taxpayer like a starving boa constrictor. For my money, I'd like to be able to drive in Rockford and not have to pay for an alignment each time I fuel up.