Really? Hot dogs are what you're hot about?

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Richard Gertler

To the group of people writing to the Journal against the "Tasty Dog Challenge," I feel your pain, as it must be hard on you to have such weighty issues in your life [Tasty Dog Challenge crosses a line, Viewpoints, April 27].

The fact that you took time out of your busy schedule to write a letter about your problems shows how difficult things must be for you. Forget about poverty, homelessness, three wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, climate change and teenage suicides, as we have the ever pressing matter of the "Tasty Dog Challenge" to worry about.

Sadly this is illustrative of the depths we have sunk to. It is a fast-paced society in which we find ourselves living in, with news shows being highlighted by talking points, lack of investigation or shear speculation. It feeds on the lazy and ignorant, with the end result being a distortion of reality.

Here is another example of the continued dumbing down process of our citizens, which the right-wing elite started during the Reagan administration and has mastered with the help of Fox News, whatever it is — Hannity, Limbaugh, Savage, Palin, etc.

I am hopeful that those who took seriously the objectors to the Tasty Dog Challenge will with some reflection recognize how frivolous these people and their like are.

We have serious issues to worry about, and to steal from the movie "American President," need serious people to fix them. None of these issues pertain to a teacher encouraging school spirit at the local hot dog stand.

Rather than waste your time on such trivialities, wonder why 45 percent of Oak Park's voters were against the recent referendum to keep our schools among the best in the area, why there is a nut out there trying to have the results overturned, or what to do about the drug issues at our high school, the learning gap, or how the village can address economic issues that are currently adversely affecting our community.

My fear is that, for these people and others like them, it will require too much effort and thought for them to address. It is scary that there are so many people who are so myopic.

We have lost the real issues of our time. It is time to get serious about things again, and to not worry about school spirit at a local hot dog stand as a compelling issue.

Forty-five years ago, Robert Kennedy ran on getting rid of poverty, ending the Vietnam War, the global economy and safety on the streets. It seems to me the more things change, the more they stay the same. Except for some additional new issues, it seems like we have accomplished little over the last 50 years.

Let's keep our eye on the ball as to what really matters. Tasty Dog Challenge — are you serious? This is what you decided to complain about?

Richard Gertler is a longtime Oak Park resident who has a son currently attending Whittier School.

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how about academics? from Oak Park  

Posted: May 18th, 2011 9:42 AM

Why not object purely on the fact that it is a waste of school time. Another example of a pet project taking time away from teaching the basics. Who represents the parents and students who would like all these distractions to stop. Stop the parties, special challenges and do some math and reading. RGertler, the dumbing down of America is happening right in the classroom. And you believe throwing more money at it will keep our schools great? Pass the kool-aid.

good idea  

Posted: May 14th, 2011 1:23 PM

Hm, I am thinking Dog Lover might have an idea--maybe a shop and share service project where, for every hot dog school kids buy, Tasty Dog donates $ or food to PADS or the local food bank...

weiners & whiners from Oak Park  

Posted: May 12th, 2011 11:20 AM

Thank you Richard! I could not agree more. The Tasty Dog fundraiser is a great way to support both a local business and our schools. It's also a lot of fun for kids and (most) parents -- though obviously not for the Debbie Downers who penned their petty letter of protest.

OP Parent  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 9:04 PM

@Nan, actually I thought the original letter writers were arrogant and trying to push their agenda on everyone else. If they didn't like the fundraiser, they could decide not to attend. Wait until your kids get to high school, there's lots of pandering and none of it involves books (since you are all so stuck on "books are not the same as hot dogs.") Beye has Puree Pizza fundraiser, Amazon/Target, just to name a couple. Where's the outrage?

I'm a dog lover too  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 8:48 PM

I agree with Richard Gertler. We should work together as a community to solve hunger and poverty rather than asking our children to gorge themselves on hotdogs. I'm glad our elementary schools see things so clearly, too. Let's hold a hot dog eating contest this Thanksgiving to raise money for the Oak Park Food Bank.

Nan E. State from Oak Park  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 8:31 PM

Actually, Richard, those who wrote against the Challenge are simply your neighbors. They are intelligent, reasonable people who saw a small item that bugged them a little and decided to comment and then move on. It's quite the opposite of your unthinking, knee-jerk, talking point diatribe about Fox News, etc. No, Richard...citizens are much smarter now than 50 years ago, and have made the world is a better place because they have more access to unfiltered information. That clearly scares you.


Posted: May 11th, 2011 5:39 PM

Its ironic how the author managed to make as big an a$$ of himself as the people he is complaining about. A perfect example of the left's never ending need to attack Fox, Palin, etc. I have no idea what they have to do with the issue, but I personally know 2 of the original authors of the Tasty Dog complaint letter and can assure you that they are as left leaning and liberal as they come. Apparently, you are more interested in making this a partisan issue than sticking to the facts.


Posted: May 11th, 2011 4:50 PM

Why is it okay for the school to tell my kids to go eat tasty dog for the good of the school, but it's not okay to tell kids that this food is a very poor choice for their health? And books are not food. And is Richard the same guy that ran Daddy Day Care? Nice PR for your biz; insult half of the pool of clients.

HotDog Guy  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 4:43 PM

45% of Oak Park voters were against the referendum because there doesn't appear to be an end in sight to the "cash burn". We'd like to eat more than hot dogs for dinner every night. Way to throw that in there Richard. (rolls eyes). Aside from that, it's a great looking dog in the photo, and I'm all for supporting local business.

Rebecca Hachem  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 12:39 PM

Yes, I was at my children's school yesterday. No marketing, but our bookfair is in September. I am surprised at how offended people are about the TDC article. @Carol, that was funny.


Posted: May 11th, 2011 12:22 PM

We use blatant marketing to our kids all the time -- have you been in a school lately? Do you think Tasty Dog was the only promotion of the year? It's an optional fundraiser, you either attend or not. If you choose not to, then let the people who want to participate do so and leave them alone. My child comes home with a "wish list" from Scholastic and that's about as blatant as you can get. All PTO fundraisers are pushed at the schools.

Carol from Oak Park  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 11:53 AM

Just curious, how does one go about taking a 5 minute shower for a whole year?

Rebecca Hachem  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 11:42 AM

Richard I think you misunderstood the point of the letter. It was regarding the blatant marketing to our children during school hours. It was NOT about the food. It is rather nasty of you to assume that the ladies and their supporters (me) don't care about the issues you stated;one of them does pro-bono legal work for at risk youth. How frivolous is that?

Violet Aura  

Posted: May 11th, 2011 11:35 AM

...and yet you composed an essay discussing the inanity of the posts? Although I wasn't one of the critics, I will use this opportunity to let you in on the fact that meat-eating is destructive to the environment. Did you know that the water used to produce ONE POUND of beef is the same as someone taking a 5-min. shower for a year!

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