SO a day after the memorial service for those killed and injured in the State Fair stage collapse, a little over twenty-four hours following Governor Mitch "The Only Thing That Could Improve Ayn Rand Is A Little Christianity" Daniels' announcement that the whole thing was the weather's fault, and nobody can prepare for weather; that is, roughly, about the time anyone who's ever paid any attention whatever to such things would have predicted the original story would begin leaking seriously [structure wasn't subject to city inspections, since it's on state property; it's the responsibility of Homeland Security, now, which doesn't consider "scaffolding" to be a "structure" (and hence, required to survive 90 mph winds, or a third-again beyond what the Governor says no one could ever anticipate); it would've been inspected--and would have had to meet our standards for permanent structures--if it was in tax-burdened Illinois; the outdoor venue for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, scheduled to perform fifteen miles north, sent everyone home un-overtured but safe; this is the fourth such rigging collapse this summer, though no one could have anticipated more than three, I suppose; several independent experts have suggested that something was seriously substandard with the set-up, many mentioning a lack of crossbeams and guying; we're really just warming up] the Indianapolis City/County council breaks a land speed record for "shoveling shit at the NFL's behest".
See, Indianapolis has no ticket scalping ordinance. Make that "had". The NFL finds this as unseemly as gambling, but a lot more amenable to public weight-tossing, so it insisted on one as a condition of granting the make-up Super Bowl to the city it promised one to in exchange for using a billion and counting in tax dollars to build a new football barn which seats exactly the same number of people as the old one, but at higher prices. Indianapolis should have gotten the last Super Bowl, but the Cowboys spent even more. God's in His heaven.
And, yes, it is interesting how the whole thing was already in the works with a new city ordinance promised, as though voting didn't mean anything or somethin'. And the city's hosted the NCAA finals at least once a decade over the past thirty years or so, and just shooing scalpers away from the venue (on no authority beyond the NCAAs and the people who stand to make a buck) has been sufficient. But not for the NFL. So, as promised….
Now, look, I do follow politics, in my sleepy fashion, so it's not the toadying, the whiff of corruption, or the willingness to permit high-speed gang anal, sans foreplay, provided there's a nickel involved and one of the guys is on th' teevee that surprises me. Wholly expected. Never even an issue. This city elected a proto-Teabagger mayor in 2007, and you oughta see the public works "improvements" festival going on in preparation for a three-day fucking football game. We already passed--and have steadfastly refused to enforce, so far--an anti-panhandling ordinance of "questionable" legality which will suddenly be remembered about two weeks before the Big Event, and just as quickly forgotten (it happens to place an undue stress on entrepreneurial buyers of gold and operators of franchise fast food abominations who would go out of business if they couldn't dress a minimum-wage employee like a clown and send him out into traffic. Trust me, our scrupulousness has nothing to do with concerns over the Constitutional rights of the unsightly). If the goddam NFL demanded our wimmen the only question would be where we're supposed to meet the bus.
No, it was the local news coverage, which consisted of the sloppiest blowjob possible so soon after a tragedy, coupled with photos of the Large Scary Negro men who scalp tickets. The new law will "protect the consumer" they said. Because ticket resellers--unlike concert-venue managers--will be licensed. It won't affect all the ticket brokers in town, the ones who employ large numbers of Large Scary Negro men to buy up blocks of tickets restricted to "public" sale in order to skirt anti-scalping measures. No. Thank goodness. Because they're entrepreneurs. And because the nice local newshairdos thoughtfully gave them microphones so they could tell us so.
Not a mention of the rest of it, though: not about the NFL pushing the city around, not the sudden loss of your right to go to the venue the day of and sell a ticket you don't need, none of it. In a state whose economic "miracle"--being better than Michigan--has been credited to Mitch Daniels' Economic Freedom agenda, there's not a peep while the game is rigged in plain sight, the little guy takes it in the shorts, and the big operations get their competition swept up alongside the homeless. Because the NFL said so. Because a Super Bowl is so fucking important you can hand over your sovereignty, spend whatever it takes, and take away a right your citizens have had since the invention of the ducat. And it's all Good. Or so the teleprompter says.
Okay, so I expected all that, too.