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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