It's NATO time.
World leaders are heading to Chicago for a summit and experiencing our great city from a plastic bubble.
NATO time means protest time, with an estimated 20,000 demonstrators hitting the streets.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, as President Obama's Chief of Staff in 2008, famously said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."
I'm certain he didn't have NATO protests in mind at the time, and no Chicago mayor wants a repeat of the mayhem during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. My sense is Da' Mayor has this one under control.
Chicago is swimming in rifles, riot gear and tear gas, ready for marches against corporate greed, environmental policy, world aggression and the end of Desperate Housewives.
I'm also heading downtown to protest. After dropping off the kids at Grant Park (what's the going rate for an anarchist baby sitter?), I'll don my grocery bag and head out to fight the power.
I need the bag since getting arrested would hurt my work cred.
I hope you will join me in protesting:
1. Shock media. From the ridiculous Time breastfeeding cover to our obsession with insipid, trashy celebrities, nothing is out of bounds anymore. When Mason becomes a top baby name due to the Kardashians Nostradamus can't be far behind.
2. Tip jars. I'm sick of them. It's one thing to reward a skycap, bartender or waiter but where's the limit? A waiter earns combat pay for wiping, sweeping and smiling at my cherubic kids, but am I also supposed to fork over a couple bucks to a sandwich artist or crossing guard?
3. Casual Friday (and Monday, Tuesday, etc.). Office landlords are encouraging workers to dress down for the NATO summit in order to avoid being the target of protestors. My question is would anyone know the difference? We ditched suits and ties years ago in favor of sandals and tie-dye. A nation of slobs, the only difference being during NATO we accessorize with bongos, bandanas and beads.
4. Fees. And no, I don't mean taxes, which my CPA can whittle down to quarters on the dollar. I mean being fleeced with non-tax deductible fees for everything from my kids choir (don't we pay taxes for our schools?) to the privilege of speaking with a bank teller. $100 for a license plate sticker? At least stab me in the chest.
5. Bad baseball. From downtown I will hop on the subway (oh, the humanity) and head to Wrigley Field for the Cubs - White Sox game. It's going to be a long summer Chicago fans. The bag on my head will come in handy.
What's your take on the NATO protests? I would enjoy hearing from you. And I would never protest you liking us on facebook.