Letters: Museum a unique venue
November 7, 2012 8:42PM
Updated: December 9, 2012 6:07AM
I want to thank the Joliet Area Historical Museum staff, volunteers and donors for maintaining the museum and for the various events. I would like to recommend the museum’s events that provide family and/or adult entertainment.
The museum is a hidden treasure I would like to recommend to all. It has an entertaining and fun entrance, with Route 66 and Blues Brothers displays. The rest of the museum is amazing, and would make anyone proud to be from the Joliet area.
The videos, life-size models, trolley car, gorgeous stained glass windows and exhibits of Joliet and the people who have lived here — and built this city — are just incredible. I felt a sense of pride that, not only was an elite aerospace engineer like John Houbolt born and raised in Joliet, he also attended Joliet Junior College.
In the last year, I have attended various events sponsored by the museum, and all were incredible. There have been concerts, both indoor and on the rooftop of the museum, and events like “Lunch with the Lincolns” and a NASA exhibit. All were outstanding.
Adult events include crafts and imported beer-tasting. I cannot believe these venues are being put on at a museum and how wonderfully coordinated they are.
I recommend the Joliet Area Historical Museum and all the different attractions in the downtown Joliet area. It is an educational experience to learn about the area and state. It is local, reasonably priced, free parking, etc. Downtown Joliet, and its venues are unique, and what sets Joliet apart from neighboring towns. With cooler temperatures on the way, the museum is a unique place to take your family.
Country shaped by elitism
Class mobility in the 19th century gave birth to Horatio Alger’s novels characterized by the “rags to riches” narrative that hard work, determination, courage and honesty can propel one up the class ladder.
This scenario was far from reality, and mobility was never common. Upward mobility was, however, more achievable during the 19th century than it is today.
The tragedy of our present day is that a neo-liberal, laissez faire political-economic philosophy has gained ascendance. Its prescription of demonizing government and sanctifying greedy individualism has resulted in class rigidity and the development of an oligarchic elite.
“The top 1 percent possesses a greater collective worth than the entire bottom 90 percent,” according to Economic Policy Institute. Fear, anger, insecurity and even hunger stalks the 90 percent and they live life on the edge.
The Horatio Alger narrative of class mobility cannot be sustained under these circumstances. An article appeared in The New York Times that describes a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, stating that, in Britain, “a student has a 60 percent chance of attending college while in the U.S. the odds are just 29 percent.” This is “one of the lowest levels among the 34 countries with advanced economies that make up the OECD ...”
This is an astounding report and confirms that, as wealth inequality widens, class mobility stagnates.
The credibility of Horatio Alger’s narrative fades and its ideological underpinnings of hard work, determination, courage and honesty fall on deaf ears.
The working class, the poor, aspiring college graduates and the dispossessed are losing faith in themselves and the institutions that govern them. The United States is being shaped by elites that place profits above human needs.