Saturday, May 30, 2009

Seen on the CTA

Our responsibilities have taken us to the City of the Big Shoulders twice in as many months. As usual, we have availed ourselves of the services of the very fine, if nearly bankrupt, Chicago Transit Authority.

Our trips on Chicago's always-busy buses and trains left us with many opportunities to watch people. Because our routes took us through the trendier and more prosperous districts of the city's north side, we were struck in particular by what folks were reading. Two examples stand out:

  • An elderly woman, groomed impeccably and wearing clothing of palpable quality (we guess that her gloves cost more than our entire clothing ensemble), spent a good thirty minutes reading that most venerable of American left-wing publications, The Nation, with its glorious red ink accents, socialist realist illustrations, and advertisements for remembering the ACLU in one's will.
  • A twentysomething young man, sporting a faux hawk haircut, who boarded the bus on the city's elegant lakefront and alighted by the towering Aon Building, reading a book with exceptionally large print, short paragraphs, and wide margins entitled How to Win an Argument with a Conservative.
So many ironies attended these sights that we can name only one: that these high-toned, high-minded leftists could fail to be what we of more modest means are compelled to be, namely, protective of the human capacity to create enough wealth to take care of human needs.

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