Now that the Friends of the Parks lawsuit against building the Lucas Museum where Lucas says it has to be--on park/lakefront land--has been deemed to have merit by a federal judge and can proceed, what is our broken mayor going to do about it?
Stand his ground and proceed with defending the suit? Cave in and kill, or at least move, the museum? Or, maybe, just maybe, talk it over with Chicago residents and community leaders to see what we think of the whole idea of stealing land and getting bogged down in a lawsuit to defend the theft--for a half-conceived museum that in the end may be an albatross around our neck? Because it could flop for lack of attendance, a lack of exhibits and a lack of money. And then what?
Nope, Rahm's not going to do any of that. Instead, he says he's going to talk things over with his pals George and Mellody to see what's up with them. What do they want to do? Not what do Chicagoans want to do, he says in a video here, but what do George and Mellody want to do?
That's his reaction? Sit down with two of the richiest riches in town to see where they stand on stealing public land for themselves, and getting involved in a very expensive protracted legal battle? What about us, Tiny Tears? How about asking us what we think about it?
That's been the problem with this idea all along. George Lucas, the Great Star (wars) gets his Lucas Museum idea dissed by San Francisco, his hometown, and comes to his new wife's hometown and tells Rahm (NOT US) what he's going to do on our free land, no questions asked, no compromises offered. And Rahm says OK.
Not once did Lucas address us residents. Not once did he humble himself. Thank us. Consider us. Not once.
Rahm just said, "Sure, Georgie, anything you say."
So for 59 Norman Rockwells (how about donating them to the Art Institute, which can designate The Lucas Rockwell Room?) and a Star Wars collection (which has already been here years ago at the Museum of Science and Industry--and the day my daughter and I went no one was there but us), a futuristic museum building and a paltry endowment, he wants to be part of our Museum Campus. He wants to be part of three other museums that are conducting world-renowned research and which have been attracting crowds for decades and decades with some of the most respected collections in the world.
If not for Friends of the Parks (God bless them), lakefront ground would be broken on this egotistical lame brain idea in a few weeks. Instead, the brakes are on--at least until the conclusion of the lawsuit.
So, George and Mellody and Rahmbo, how about this? Consider this when you're talking together. Mr. Lucas wants a Lucas museum in Chicago? Go to an area with a lot of land that needs a good perk, a good draw. And get you some of that. Bronzeville? Englewood? Even the land at Clark and Roosevelt that is so unused it's never had any infrastructure whatsoever. That's where your legacy should be. Helping our city. Not stealing from it.
Or take over the Michael Reese land that is costing us a fortune every day, ever since we bought it for the 2016 Olympics that will not be. Or, as Friends of the Parks suggests, take over some very underused land on the west side of Lake Shore Drive in the South Loop. Do us a favor. And we'll do you a favor by not filing suits or criticizing you.
Build yourself a museum. Completely on your dime. Pick good people to run it. And make sure you have plenty of parking and infrastructure available. And a traffic plan--if your dream comes true. And buy plenty of advertising. And make sure that your endowment covers whatever comes the museum's way. That's what you should do, George. And I hope Mellody and Rahm agree.
That's the way to go, George. And may the force be with you.
And keep this in mind. This may be the new Chicago Way--now that our mayor has lost his mojo. Not only will lawsuits have to be won and lost on their merits. So will ideas. All of them. Even yours.
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