Aurora, Smollet, R. Kelly—Please just make it stop

The suck just won’t stop.

Is it me, or ever since the new year does it seem like the news coming out of Illinois has been unrelentingly shameful and awful?

Given that Illinois is a train wreck of a state anyway, that’s saying a lot.

No sooner had Jason van Dyke’s slap-on-the-wrist of a prison sentence and Alderman Ed Burke’s nefarious doings faded from the headlines, we were slammed with a once-in-a-generation, lethal Arctic polar vortex and the bad news hasn’t let up since.

The past seven days alone have witnessed the workplace shootings in Aurora, the ongoing Jussie Smollett fiasco culminating in his indictment and arrest Thursday, and yesterday, R. Kelly’s indictment and arrest for sexually abusing minors.

Why us?

It’s not so much that some of these things in and of themselves came as a shock to anybody. And in the case of Kelly in particular, it certainly comes as good news to a lot of people that he is being called to account for his deeds.

But it’s the rapid succession in which these events have bombarded us before we’ve had a chance to fully digest the last one. Or as they used to say back in the pre-digital days, before the ink has dried on yesterday’s headlines.

It’s as if the polar vortex somehow blew in with it some kind of curse of shame that is hanging over Chicagoland and won’t leave. Or maybe it began with the double-doink.

The rest of America looks on with fascination and horror.

Somebody make it stop.

Oh yeah, and while all this was going on, an unearthly beautiful baby antelope died.

This adorable little Kirk’s dik-dik, born at the Brookfield Zoo on Valentine’s Day and named Valentino, barely lived a week before he was euthanized by the zoo several days ago as a result of a rare birth defect that affected his ability to swallow.


Seriously, have you ever seen a creature with more storybook, Bambi-like sweetness in your life?

As if we weren’t getting enough bad news. I mean, talk about gratuitous tragedy. Talk about adding insult to injury. It’s almost metaphoric. We can’t even get one tiny little slice of positive and uplifting news.

Because nothing—and I mean nothing—PURE AND BEAUTIFUL AND INNOCENT survives in Illinois.

Not in this cursed, God-forsaken hellhole of a state.


PHOTOS: Chicago Tribune; WTTW

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