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Thursday, July 07, 2005


I don't have much to say about what happened in London--BoingBoing has an excellent round-up of blog coverage and Flickr photos--except to say that I am not heartened by news that Chicago is beefing up security on the CTA and Metra lines. They did this after the Madrid bombings too, and anyone who's taken the El in Chicago during Orange Alerts knows that "heightened security" means 19-year-old unarmed private security guards walking around with muzzled, semi-retired German Shephards on leashes. These are literally kids who were working in Subway yesterday, betraying no confidence, awareness, or training of any kind. They just stand there looking bored in the stations, with their dogs--who have to be 12 or 14 years old--literally asleep at their feet. New Yorkers get submachine guns in the subway. Chicagoans get surly mallrats with sleeping dogs. Now, maybe that kind of "security" is in line with the actual level of threat, but it's certainly not in line with Chicago's unseemly me-tooist tendency to try to appear to be important enought to be targeted by terrorists, which I hope it never will be.

While I'm at it--why is the story on the Chicago Tribune's web site that I linked to above, the one about security enhancements at the CTA and Metra, written by the AP? Isn't anyone there humiliated by the fact that their web site is taking wires about local reaction to a breaking story? Why can the Tribune find a way to almost immediately post Eric Zorn's musings on the bombings--or, for that matter, have staffer Maureen Ryan liveblog the "Friends" finale, which they actually did--but not actual, staff-generated news? (There are some staff stories online now, but the bulk of the bomb-related stories, including the CTA one, are from AP.)