When your brain has taken too many wrong turns: Raised with the wrong politics edition

Occasionally a piece of journalism emerges that really puts in perspective the hidden challenges and private struggles facing a wildly successful Hollywood movie star.  Those of us in the general public often take it for granted that celebrities have fairy-tale lives, and seldom pause to realize that the fact that big stars want for nothing sometimes means they’re susceptible to torment by just about anything.  Things most of us might casually brush aside as a minor annoyance often account for a great deal of distress in the life of an insanely popular and fabulously rich Hollywood movie star.  

One such Hollywood starlet this week laid bare her struggles with being raised by parents with the wrong politics.  As someone who was raised in a working-class, earth-people-inhabited den of cannabis, it never occurred to me that being raised in a Republican household could inflict so much trauma on a person’s life.  Haunted by nightmares of Tucker Carlson relentlessly tormenting her, this starlet just can’t bring herself to forgive her parents for her Republican childhood:

“I just worked so hard in the last five years to forgive my dad and my family and try to understand: It’s different. The information they are getting is different. Their life is different. I’ve tried to get over it and I really can’t. I can’t. I’m sorry I’m just unleashing, but I can’t f— with people who aren’t political anymore. You live in the United States of America. You have to be political. It’s too dire. Politics are killing people….I don’t want to disparage my family, but I know that a lot of people are in a similar position with their families.  How could you raise a daughter from birth and believe that she doesn’t deserve equality? How?”

Somehow, though, against all odds she managed to break free of her Republican programming, and despite her parent’s insistence that she just meet some nice young boy and give them lots of grandchildren, she managed to carve out a career for herself in Hollywood, rising to become one of the most celebrated celebrities and highly paid actors in all of tinsel town.  If only her parents had supported her and given her a proper upbringing, perhaps her star could have risen even higher than Leonardo DiCaprio.    

Those of us not on the red carpet or the silver screen, who are just trying to put food on our laminate table top, don’t appreciate how important it is to be political.  It’s true: politics are killing people.  So, by all means, let’s all become more political.  It appears to be doing wonders for the mental health of those who have discarded their marbles and jumped headlong into the fray.

Internal documents reveal ice cream industry lobby behind Illinois weed legalization

If residents thought the effort to legalize weed in the state of Illinois was an entirely grass-roots organized movement, then it might come as something of a buzzkill to learn that powerful ice cream industry lobbying actually spearheaded the push.

Secret internal documents and private communications among industry insiders shows a highly orchestrated effort by Big Ice Cream to bring legal pot to the people of Illinois.

“Who stood to benefit? Who had the power?  These are the questions we asked ourselves as we began looking into this matter,” says Alex Downer of the ineffectual government watchdog group Responsibility and Integrity in Government, or RIG for short.  “You must remember, the cannabis industry is still relatively new and as yet has no politically connected corporate structure powerful enough to influence Illinois politics. If you want to be a political player in Illinois in general, and Chicago in particular, then you had better be sitting on top of a mountain of cash.”

The Chicagoland Ice Cream Manufacturers and Retailers Association seemed to be just such an organization.  “These guys figured out years ago that if they could bring legal pot to Illinois, the industry stood to reap the benefits of a 50 to 70 percent increase in ice cream sales,” added Downer.  “The leaked documents prove a conspiracy was afoot. In fact, the CICMRA even shook down their dairy suppliers in Wisconsin to help fund the lobbying effort.”

‘Lobbying’ is a term Downer uses loosely as it appears many Illinois legislators were rewarded handsomely for their vote.  “It should have been evident who was in the pocket of Big Ice Cream interests. At the time the legislation was under consideration, there was an ice cream van circling the capitol building everyday handing out treats and playing that infernal nursery rhyme:  ‘The more we work together, together, together. The more we work together, the happier we’ll be. Cause your friends are my friends and my friends are your friends….’ I mean, come on!  

“And that wasn’t the half of it.  We obtained one email where a very powerful government official, capable of delivering a lot of votes, detailed plans for his eight year old’s birthday party.  He wanted a dump truck load each of chocolate, vanilla, and mint chip ice cream dumped on his lawn for the kids to play on. Obviously, they called on the State Highway Department to provide the trucks.  He had his pool filled with soft serve, and witnesses say kids were running around squirting each other with super soakers filled with chocolate syrup and ready whip topping. The decadence is mind-blowing, man!”

However, don’t expect anyone in state government to be held accountable for a potential conflict of interest.  “RIG considered filing an ethics complaint until we were visited by a couple of goons going by the names Mr. Peppermint and Mr. Butter Brickle,” Downer explained.  “They encouraged us to drop the matter so we complied. I mean, what can you do? This is Chicago and this is Big Ice Cream. They don’t play.”