Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Taste Test

I spent the Fourth with my sister and her fiance, getting to meet him for the first time. (This is the trailer repairman my sister would never have met if Katrina hadn't washed her out of her house...) Now they are in Michigan, where she is meeting his extended family. God bless them all.
There was a little item in the paper yesterday that seemed totally inappropriate for the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. There is a week long food festival in town, the Taste of Chicago, in which some 50 or so restaurants offer three or four speciality items from outdoor booths. It's crowded, but yummily fragrant with the smoke of barbeque wafting across the park, and there's a generally jovial atmosphere. Marketing groups also take advantage of the huge gathering to promote new products, so you can pick up free samples of whatever is being offered. (This year's pickings are rather slim: Sensodyne ran out of free samples in a few hours after the event started, so all there was left of their presence was a sealed-up Sensodyne trailer; we got a lot, I mean a lot, of samples of Fiber-All, though...) Anyway, the Army is also set up with a painted Hummer, a trailer, a booth where you can get dogtags made for you, and guy-related activities. And on July 3, some people were arrested near there for protesting the war without a protest permit.
I don't know how they were protesting. I had seen some people the day before dressed in identical T-shirts with tasteful peace slogans, handing out literature. I don't know if it was this group or someone else doing something a little more objectionable than what seemed like the perfectly acceptable 1st-Amendment type behavior I had witnessed.
It just seemed such bad timing on the part of the city!
And after the magnificent fireworks that same night, with a crowd of a million or more, I later saw that the half-inch-thick show window at Marshall Fields had been smashed in, and a Bose home theater system was ripped off the wall.
Do you think the wrong people got arrested?

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