Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009 10:09 am
Letters to the Editor 10/29/09
Free the blogger, drunk drivers, media and Brian Wilson
FREE THE BLOGGER
This incident is deeply disturbing [see “Blogger busted: Free speech goes on trial in Sangamon County,” by Amanda Robert, Oct. 15].
If the reporting is accurate here — and I have no doubt that it is — then what Scott Humphrey wrote does not rise to the level of either obscenity or threat. If anyone has been threatened here, it is Humphrey. I can’t begin to imagine how disturbed he must have felt to have the FBI show up on his doorstep, only to find himself later arrested. The pursuit of Humphrey for speaking his mind seems utterly ridiculous and vindictive.
DRIVE-UP NO PROBLEM?
The next time someone gets killed or paralyzed for life because of a drunken driver in Springfield, remember these names: Mike Kapshandy, Frank Kunz, Frank Lesko, Debbie Cimarossa, Steve Dove and Kris Theilen. The reason to remember these names is because Kapshandy wants to open a drive-up liquor window and city council members Kunz, Lesko, Cimarossa, Dove and Theilen have all voted to let him.
According to Kunz, whose ward the drive-up will be in, “I have no problems with drive-up liquor windows.” I could be wrong here, but I would suggest that this kind of blue-collared redneck thinking is the main reason there are so many drunken drivers on the roads these days. Drive-up liquor windows are virtually unheard of in the northern part of the state and Springfield is the only city in the state with a population over 100,000 that has drive-up liquor windows.
That’s because scientific research shows that the favorite place for convicted drunk drivers to buy their liquor is drive-up windows. The municipal officeholders of these other cities are smart enough to understand this fact. The reason convicted drunken drivers prefer to purchase their booze at drive-ups is because they aren’t required by law to produce a valid drivers license and they know that the drive-up clerk can’t tell how drunk they are.
So if you’re wondering why the person in front of, in back of, or alongside of you is driving so erratically, you can thank the aforementioned people. And that’s because if they don’t have a problem with drive-ups, then they apparently don’t have a problem with convicted drunken drivers who are driving around Springfield on a revoked driver’s license.
Why should mainstream media cover stories that strengthen democracy [see “Censored!: The 10 big stories the major media ignored in the past year,” Oct. 22] when there is so much other important news? News like a family launching a balloon then claiming there is a six-year-old boy on it to get a reality show, or who really fathered Michael Jackson’s children? Those are the “real” news stories.
OK. I’ll have to admit that I was supposed to be somewhere else on Thursday night, but at 5 p.m. I was sitting in the Three Legged Dog reading Illinois Times and saw that Brian Wilson was playing at the Sangamon Auditorium. My experience with the Beach Boys was passive. Yes, they had some great songs, but I was too busy with the Beatles to pay much attention to those California surfer dudes.
However, my interest in the Beach Boys peaked eight or nine years ago when my co-worker, whose hobby is collecting autographs, came back with a very unusual photo of Brian Wilson sitting in his tour bus outside a side entrance of the Ritz Carlton in St. Louis. Brian’s appearance was shocking to me; and my co-worker proceeded to fill me in on the story of Brian’s breakdowns and mental problems. Well. I so did not expect to hear that.
So, while I knew not to envision the Brian Wilson I had always remembered, I was still hoping to have the true experience of the Beach Boys I had missed out on over the years. I was not disappointed. In fact, it was over the top. I kept thinking also how proud I am to have this totally American icon still performing entirely American music. On a rainy night in the Midwest, “Add Some Music to Your Day,” and it just doesn’t get any better than this.