Let's Burn the Money!
Here comes once of the stupidest ideas ever - we covered it a few months ago, but the City is still going through with it:
- In the beginning was the notebook, and the notebook was filled with dreams, and those dreams, against all sorts of odds and in the face of red tape, carping, money-hunting and alterations, will come to fruition Saturday with an event that will become either an annual enrichment of our lives or an expensive one-time-only experiment in bread and circuses.
It is called the Great Chicago Fire Festival, and it is the doing of Redmoon Theater and the city of Chicago, supported by $350,000 from city coffers and more than $1.5 million from the wallets of a couple of dozen sponsors and donors such as the Pritzker Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Allstate, WMAQ-Ch. 5, Boeing, the Chicago Fire soccer team and Wendella Boats.
That's a lot of money, and there are some who would tell you that there are better uses for it: public schools, potholes, more police officers … the list is long.
If private citizens and their foundations want to spend money on this crap, more power to them. If publicly held companies feel like blowing through their bottom line, they answer to stockholders. But $350,000 in taxpayer cash? For this debacle? And calling it "art?"
- So, judge for yourself Saturday. It all starts at 3 p.m. with a bazaar along the riverfront featuring crafts, food and entertainment from some of Redmoon's neighborhood partners. At 8 p.m. the real action begins, as "fire caldrons" will be lowered from bridges onto boats waiting below in a river filled with kayakers pulling flaming buoys and prairie gardens. The boats will take the fire to three floating sculptures meant to evoke 1871 homes. These will be set ablaze, burning to reveal symbolic interiors. It all will take place on the water between the State Street and Columbus Drive bridges, and will involve a couple of hundred performers, singers and volunteers. It will culminate with a fireworks display. It's all free.
It ain't free - it's $2 million being lit on fire - $350,000 of it belonging to taxpayers, and Rahm still has a lot of bills coming due soon.
Labels: money questions