20130605 – Blues Festival, Italian Beef Sandwich And Crackpot Modern Art

Wednesday – warm, sun and cloud.

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Take a metro to Oak Street and then walk to Oak Street Beach. Have a pleasant 3 hour stroll down the Lake Shore path to the Art Museum. Use a membership card to get free access. It’s massive with hundreds, nay thousands of exhibits. After a hour and a half we’ve just about covered the ground floor and still not sen a single painting.

Can’t help noticing the number of armed security DSC02036guards. What a disturbing thought. It’s bad enough having armed police – especially when you consider that some police force reject candidates who score too high on an IQ test. But arming minimum wage security guards seems like a recipe for carnage.

Then it’s back to the Loft for coffee followed by another exciting and expensive trip to Wholefooods (think Marks and Spencers on steroids).

We’re off to Iowa on Monday so we’d better brush up on their laws:


One-armed piano players must perform for free.

Kisses may last for no more than five minutes.

It is a violation of the law to sell or distribute drugs or narcotics without having first obtained the appropriate Iowa drug tax stamp.

A man with a moustache may never kiss a woman in public.

A board was created to regulate among other things, hearing aids.

Full text of a very interesting article on Political Islam by a Muslim. Summed up as:

Multiculturalism has become a cover for Islamist penetration of the West. The foe is formidable and has already taken hold in our backyards. Political Islam is on the rise in the DSC09719U.K. and Europe, where some cities have installed “Sharia Zones.” There are entire areas of Norway where non-Muslims are not safe.

If there is one country that truly “gets it,” it is Israel. They understand the powerful force of Political Islam, and have vast experience in determining the enemy. They are a powerful ally in understanding this volatile situation.


The weeding out of Islamism and the Islamist threat lodged inside the West is the essential prerequisite, or the first step, in defeating global Jihadi warfare of Islamists and in helping the Muslim world reconcile itself with the modern values of science, democracy and human rights.

To do this, we need to follow the lead of our Israeli allies and look with clear eyes into the nature of Political Islam and have a frank conversation without fear of political correctness.

Thursday – grey and miserable. Rain in the morning but picks up after lunch.

Lazy morning. Then mid afternoon it’s stopped raining so we venture out to finish off our tour of the Art Museum – you can tell its free. This time we do the paintings floor.


Awesome Van Gough’s, Monet’s, Pissario’s etc. Then we venture into the Modern Art section. What can we say. Well plenty really. I know arts meant to invoke a response and in this case the response is one of incredulity and hilarity. We keep on cracking up laughing. Better still when you hear some of the arty farty brigade discussing these wastes of space, it’s almost impossible not to crack up laughing.


Let’s describe some of the exhibits, a framed blank white canvas, I had to ask one of the attendants if it was really an exhibit; a 5 ft by 5 ft canvas with a few scribblings in pencil on and some dollops of paint, only cost $5.8 million; a table and chair with a laptop playing a cretinous video; a big canvas painted orange; two rectangle of wood, one orange, one green; the usual really silly paintings, loads of them, with paint splattered all over it; a black canvas with a date printed in white on it, not even a significant date in history; a colourful pile of sweets in a corner, yes you guessed it edible art, you can have one. Wendy triggers off an alarm when she sits on what she thinks is a bench – see pink bench picture – and it turns out it’s an expensive exhibit.

In fairness there are some Modern Art exhibits that are good.

My summary “People are seriously taking the piss here. It’s a joke”.


Wendy sums it up with “Like overpaid footballers they just slap something down and charge a fortune for it because they’re famous”.

I had to check on the way out who paid for these exhibits. Fortunately for the citizens of the USA, Illinois and Chicago in particular you can rest easy. They’re paid for by donations from numbskulls who have more money than sense. A pity they don’t walk out onto the streets, just 200 feet thats all, and use some of that money to reduce the number of beggars on the street. It’s just obscene stupidity, words fail me. $5.8 million for some scrawl.


Catch the Metro up to Portillo’s. This is a pilgrimage to have an Italian Beef Sandwich, dipped of course. I exercise some restraint and resist a “double dip”. I’ve hankered to try one of these for years since I first heard of them – almost a bucket list item. For you culinary education here’s a description of this classic example of American cuisine at it’s peak:

An Italian beef is a sandwich of thin slices of DSC09731seasoned roast beef, dripping with meat juices, on a dense, long Italian-style roll, which originated in Chicago where its history dates back at least to the 1930s. The bread itself is often dipped (or double-dipped) into the juices the meat is cooked in, and the sandwich is typically topped off with Chicago-style giardiniera (called “hot”) or sauteed, green Italian sweet peppers (called “sweet”).

It was awesome. All that’s left now is to try a classic Chicago Hot Dog.

Then to top the day off we go to the Chicago blues festival in the awesome outdoor Millennium park – you have to see the architecture of this place to believe it. Proper seats. Drinks, including alcohol for sale, even a signer for the deaf. I know it may be a tad non PC to ask but if you’re deaf why would you come to a concert?

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All free and there’s 4 days of it if you’re so inclined. My second only rock concert in my lifetime. At least at this one I can’t demand my money back – mind you unlike Bob Dylan these artists have some personality.

More Iowa laws to inspire:

Ministers must obtain a permit to carry their liquor across state lines.

Doctors who treat a person with gonorrhea must report this to the local board of health and include the disease’s “probable origin”.

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All boxes used to pick hops must be exactly 36 inches long.

Tanning bed facilities must warn of the risk of getting a sunburn.

Liquor stores may not place advertisements for beer outside the store.

The “moderate” Muslims of today are about as effective in stemming the tide of savagery as the anti-Nazi “good Germans” were.

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The law on incitement to racial hatred in a nutshell; it’s very easy to understand. Just remember that if you are in London, and you are a known Islamist living on benefits, you cannot be arrested for inciting racial hatred when you say the poor, murdered Woolwich soldier will burn in hell. However, if you are in Wales, and you are a hard-working T-shirt seller, you can be arrested for inciting racial hatred – if you ask people to obey our laws, and stop killing soldiers in Woolwich.

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