Monday, May 21, 2007

Saturday musings

These are left-over from Saturday, since I spent most of the weekend sans computer.

4:00 PM, Millenium park:

A wedding party passed me, of high schoolers, parking their hummer limo on the side of the street and taking pictures in Millenium park - the obnoxious bride playing the part of prom queen.

Then again, for most of history, 18 was considered quite old enough for marrying (as was 16 and even sometimes 12). Now it is so young. Maybe half of that is an over-educated intellectual class; if you expect men and women to go to school until they are 22 (or later) which is the everyone-going-to-college paradigm, then 18 is still a child, still in need of education. And this over-educated system is far from universal even today. Besides, what is a wedding in today's society that a date to prom isn't, at base? The only difference is that a wedding is supposed to be permanent, but with the divorce rates throughout the western world being what they are, it seems obvious that even among people who wait until they are "old enough", marriage need not be permanent.

Really, my shock at seeing a teenager prancing around millenium park in a bridal gown speaks more to what my preconceptions of a proper wedding are than anything else. What is my idea of taste in such things - does it only include a secret trip to the local court (witnesses hand-selected and parents notably excluded), sans honeymoon or reception, like my parents? Or is the line drawn at the level of making such things public affairs - do I want to keep my wedding a secret from strangers? But what do I care, today, if some high school student I never knew and never will gets married?

However, part of me wants the entire scene to be a high school theatre group; taging a wedding somewhere public to show absurdity? Stage a wedding and then stage people crashing it, or the groom running away, or a groomsman shouting at the last minute that he can't take it any more - he is madly in love with the bride (or groom) and wants them to call it off (or he is madly in love with a bridesmaid and wants to make it a double wedding. Whichever). Or whatever, only something to add to the absurdity of it - so the strangers are the point, and testing what we think about the limits of decorum is the point, and all of that.

6:30 PM (Corner Bakery):

The man sitting to my left is a tourist planning his route of attackof the city: He has before him three open maps and he has covered the small table with them, pouring over them and comparing them, a general preparing an invasion of the territory.

He takes out another map and holds it up, comparing. Shall he take the Art Institute first, and go north from there, or install his sentries at teh highest ground with a strategic attack of the Sears Tower allowing him to easily see enemy forces from miles away? Is the Museum of Science and Industry in the south worth it or would the added mileage hurt morale and stretch his forces too thin - being a better target for another offensive, another time? Should he regroup in Greektown at dinner time or continue the assault to Chinatown? Or perhaps Pilsen? And, most importantly, when the attack fails (as it surely will) how much time will it take to pull out troops through O'hare?

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