Lightfoot’s pandemic hypocrisy, and a Drive-In Theater revival
Ray Hanania writes about Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s troubles addressing violence in Chicago and the COVID-19 pandemic, and reminisces about the enjoyment of Drive-In Theaters and the opening of one at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois
By Ray Hanania
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on her Twitter account criticized the almost all White male beachgoers who crowded Montrose Beach this past week, many not wearing face masks or maintaining social distancing.
Lightfoot posted a photo that she took of the crowd and Tweeted, “It’s called a pandemic, people. This reckless behavior on Montrose Beach is what will cause us to shut down the parks and lakefront. Don’t make us take steps backwards.”
She’s probably right that if they can’t control their behavior, then maybe the city should shut down the parks and lakefront.
But of course, Mayor Lightfoot is a political hypocrite who makes exceptions for movements she likes and dislikes, doing nothing, for example, to crack down on Black Lives Matter protestors who flooded the streets and looted, burned and destroyed businesses, vehicles and violently brutalized innocent bystanders.
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Rather than crack down on the protestors many of whom were breaking the law, she allowed their recklessness for fear of being perceived as not being sympathetic to their political cause.
Lightfoot is setting an example for others, of course, like Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx who is bewildered at the gun violence in Chicago by street gang members.
Of course, Foxx didn’t mention in her recent media interview that she has refused to prosecute many of the people arrested in the Black Lives Matter protests and few have been charged in the violence and destruction that took place.
Foxx also didn’t mention that she also significantly relaxed the punishment for people who steal, refusing to prosecute anyone who steals under $1,000 in retail items.
Why wouldn’t the street gang members be encouraged by this failed leadership on the part of the government and policing and go out and kill more people in their neighborhoods?
These violence victims are basically ignored by the activists. When the violence isn’t the result of racism, the activists don’t protest, the families don’t hire lawyers to sue the city and police, and the news media gives the incidents tragic but blameless coverage.
Drive-In Theater culture returning
SeatGeek Stadium is like many venues around the country that have partnered with Drive-In Chicago to provide a Big Screen for outdoor, drive-in theater enjoyment for concerts and movies.
Going to the Drive-In Theater was a popular family and young adult entertainment experience. At one time, there were as many as 20 Drive-In Theaters in Chicagoland, with my favorites being the Double Drive-In on West Columbus Avenue.
I remember watching the John Wayne cowboy film “Rio Bravo” there with the family. I believe it premiered in 1959.
What an experience that was. My mom, who was from “the” Bethlehem in Palestine, would cook a large pot of grape leaves and she would cover it with a towel and bring it in the car.
I wanted popcorn and hot dogs but the aroma of the spiced lamb and rice was so strong that people who parked near us would come up and ask what we were eating. Mom always had extra plates and would give them some of the grape leaf wrapped rice and lamb meat.
When I got to high school, we would drive there with our dates and a six-pack of the small cans of Schlitz Malt Liquor and occasionally watch the movies.
The Drive-In’s slowly closed one after the other as movie technology “improved.”
Who knew that the return of a pandemic in the form of a SARS-related virus called COVID-19 102 years after the devastation of the H1N1 influenza virus, would bring a Drive-In Theater revival to America?
Drive-In Chicago at SeatGeek Stadium is one of hundreds of locations across the country. If the Hollywood movie industry would get behind this effort, we would see some new movie premieres on the big screens.
Right now, most of the movies at Drive-In Chicago are cult and classic favorites that we’ve all probably seen. But the fun of sitting in the car with your family enjoying an outdoor big screen movie is unmatched.
Of course, don’t bring your own lamb and rice stuffed grape leaves with you because even with face masks you won’t be too hospitable with six feet social distancing.
Get more information on the films and other entertainment by visiting SeatGeekStadium.com.
(Check out more of Ray Hanania’s columns and writings on his website at www.Hanania.com. Originally published in the Des Plaines Valley News, the Reporter Newspaper and the Southwest News-Herald newspapers August 13, 2020.)
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