Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tweeting Chicago City Hall

Posted By on 01.31.12 at 05:42 PM

Alderman Munoz, back in the day
  • Alderman Munoz, back in the day
Interesting tweeting developments coming out of City Hall . . .

Alderman Rick Munoz wants to keep the city from blocking Twitter during the upcoming G-8 and NATO summits.

Apparently, you can shut down the whole tweeting thing "simply by turning off the power to the cell phone towers," Munoz told the Sun-Times.

I did not know that—to quote the great Eugene Levy.

Of course, the things I don't know about Twitter, tweets, and tweeting could probably fill up an ocean.

As we all know from the first time I gave tweeting a try....

Anyway, as Alderman Munoz's warning spread, folks went nuts. Started talking about how this would be an unwarranted intrusion on our constitutionally protected right to tweet.

As could be expected, Mayor Emanuel's press people saw the fallout and went running in the other direction. Started denying that he would ever block Twitter. Said it was all a big misunderstanding. Assured us that Mayor E loves tweeting as much as he loves unions, schoolteachers and libraries.

In which case—you're in a heap of trouble, Twitterheads!

As hard as this may be to believe, I'm sort of with the mayor on this one, though for different reasons. Nothing against Twitter users, but what the fu ...

Since when do protesters need Twitter to protest?

I mean, you didn't see Bill Ayers and his Weatherpeople needing Twitter during the Days of Rage.

Ah hell, no! They got crunk on acid, red wine, and reefer; put on their motorcycle helmets; and went on out and smashed some windows.

Now, that's how you wage a revolution!

Not that I'm condoning waging revolutions.

On the other hand, that red wine and reefer doesn't sound so bad.

Look, pretty much anything that wakes Chicagoans from their stupor is all right by me.

To greatly paraphrase something that Alderman Berny Stone once told me—you can rob the taxpayers blind using TIF money to build any old stupid thing you want, so long as the stupid thing you want to build doesn't block people's garages.

At which point, the gloves are off.

Not that I'm condoning blocking garages.

Or wasting TIF money on building stupid things.

The point is—powerful mayors are pretty much free to do whatever they want: Take TIF money from poor neighborhoods and spend it in rich ones? Close libraries on Mondays? Close neighborhood mental-health clinics? Raise the water-sewer tax? No problem.

But shut down Twitter? Never!

So if blocking Twitter's the price we pay to wake people up—take it down! And let the chips fall where they may.

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