Joys of Life, Issue 1 – Dinosaurs

Hi everybody! I don’t know if you’ve heard, but all of the trees in California are on fire. That’s all I have about that, other than I think, besides the Colonel and the Eagle, Parker’s new mascot should be Flamboyant Flora the Forest Fire, in honor of our founding principal. Moving on, in honor of the collapsing economy due to COVID-19, today we are going to talk about another thing in history that ended up collapsing: The trees in California. NO SILLY! I already told you, we’re moving on. Today we’re actually talking about something different: dinosaurs.

I want to preface something. I’ve never made this explicitly clear, but I am agnostic. What does that have to do with anything? Well, dinosaurs are only possible if the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God (Adonai, Jesus, Allah, WHOMEVER!) doesn’t exist IF you believe in God in the most literal sense possible. Because dinosaurs’ existence relies on evolution, and the Quintology? Pentalogy? WE NEED A NEW PARAGRAPH!

So, is a series of five books called a quintology or a pentalogy? Our trusty friends at the crowd-sourced (I don’t know if that word applies, Mr. Bigelow says it a lot, and he’s smart) website Wordsmith.org says it’s pentalogy, but I was watching a video about the Ice Age movies’ accuracy and the person in that video said quintology, so that’s what I’m going to use.

The pentalogy of books related to God (The Torah, The Bible, The Quran, The Book of Mormon, and the Talmud (ish (but I’m bringing it up because, if you can’t tell from last week’s (month’s (this might be a record for most parentheticals in parentheticals in “the Weekly”)) entire paragraph about Hannukah, I am Jewish, and I haven’t learned about world religions since Mr. Shaker)) all talk about how God made the world, like, 5000 years ago and dinosaurs were around, like, 66 million years ago, so the only explanation is that the devil put them in the ground. Duh.

But for all of us who do believe in dinosaurs, they were pretty freaking cool! Much like Chicago. And they seemed almost unbreakable! Much like Chicago. But then they all went extinct because of a meteor. 🙁 Much like Chicago might.

But it won’t be a meteor that kills us, it’ll be a pandemic. Specifically, this pandemic. Specifically, the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic that requires businesses to stay closed, workers to stay at home, and made skyscrapers practically obsolete.

Many people have been describing this pandemic as potentially causing a “financial extinction” to American cities. Not many, just a few, but I’m one of them. Because of this pandemic, the cities are becoming less desirable to live in, which will cause people to leave, which will cause businesses to change their models. Some have already gone out of business after having been forced to close. 

Some have changed their models so that everybody can work online, from their homes, and while some people will definitely want to return to the offices, others, who now know that they’ve been wasting time for years in one hour traffic to even make it to Wacker when they can easily work from home (look at that unconscious North Side bias seeping in there) and have no reason to make that commute anymore. 

Therefore, those businesses in the city that need those customers don’t get them anymore, meaning they shut down, meaning the appeal of the city is lost even further, which means we need more tax dollars to fix everything, which means, inevitably, we end up even broker than we already are, which then means that Chicago has became the Yucatan peninsula 66 million years ago. 

That was one sentence. Now, you might be screaming at me, “Grayson, that’s such a hypothetical and slippery slope argument of you to make. You should know better. Aren’t you in Debate Club?” And to that I’d say, “Why, yes I am. You should join.” But I’d also say that the biggest dinosaurs grew up to be 39.7 meters! Do you know how big that is?

The science teachers probably do (metric gang), but, to put it in perspective, the Liebherr LTM 1090-4.1 – Van Grinkel crane made by, of course, Liebherr, can extend up to 50 meters. But in this photo from trucks-cranes .nl, which, .nl is the ending for the Netherlands, the crane is extended to 39.7 meters EXACTLY! And do you know what that means? Just like Kiwis, Dinosaurs are also in the big leagues.  

But just because they could be so big doesn’t mean that something bigger couldn’t take them out. Chicago is the third most populated city in the third most populated country in the world. It’s in the country with the largest economy, the current global superpower (although, if people keep screwing with our elections, who knows?) But that doesn’t mean that the coronavirus, an unthinking, unkillable, lost little virus just looking for a home, can’t create enough economic strain on the city’s economy to make it collapse, whether through basic bankruptcy or just a massive loss in population. 

So, do I really think that Chicago is at risk of going the way of the dinosaurs? A little bit, yeah. Maybe, like, six percent chance. Very small. But still possible, and still sad. I love this city. It’s pretty, pretty cool (not as cool as Flamboyant Flora the Forest Fire) and I’d hate to see it go. But we need some smart leaders in power to make sure we stop being corrupt for no reason and also being inept, again, for no reason. SO! If you can vote, VOTE! Do your research. Learn about people who are fighting to save this city on the brink of collapse (it sounds so SCARY! I’m such a good fearmonger) And maybe, just maybe, we can keep Chicago around for another long while. Deal?