After being confronted with the reality of oppression while attending the Naperville Tea Party today, Col. Walter Kurtz’s words in “Apocolypse Now” came back to me: “The horror … the horror …”
Sure, Naperville looks like a prosperous community. A variety of merchants line the streets downtown, complemented by quite a municipal facility.
But I quickly became aware of a tyranny so pervasive that even the people who showed up for the Tax Day rally couldn’t bring themselves to speak of it. If they could, I’m sure this would be why they’d come out and protest.
Consider this: There is not a single Dunkin’ Donuts in downtown Naperville. How the people who live there make it through each day is truly a mystery.
I was tempted to be a wiseguy by stopping inside a Starbucks to ask if they could direct me to the closest Dunkin’ Donuts. But I thought better of it, figuring that even the people who worked there were most likely bummed since they didn’t have easy access to the world’s greatest coffee. Facing the challenges of Tax Day would be trying enough without me rubbing salt in this wound.
It’s been a mean economic season so far, and it ain’t over by a long shot.
A couple of weeks ago, coffee behemoth Starbucks announced it would close 600 of its stores nationwide. Local Starbucks slated to close include those in Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook and Elmhurst, according to a press release.
And MRG Metromedia Restaurant Group, the parent company of Bennigan’s Grill & Tavern, announced this week it would file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and close all of its corporate-owned restaurants (eateries owned by franchisees will remain open, but I haven’t yet been able to determine which sites in the Chicago area are owned by the company). This came on the heels of an announcement by the corporation in June that it would not file for bankruptcy and close restaurants.
Many Starbucks employees will fortunately be absorbed by other stores — and how could they not? There are so many stores, some are located within a block of each other.
Workers at Bennigan’s, however, learned the hard way that they no longer had a job. Many reported to their restaurants to find the doors locked and small signs posted telling them that the company went bust.
The next photo I want to see of an newly unemployed worker is a stunned CEO who’s just discovered that he’s been locked out of his office.
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