Gabe : ChainLink’s Entitlement Poster Child

The Rev. Corey Brooks is making a pit stop this weekend in Chicago.


Getting Up to Speed With Gabe’s Thinking:

If I were a political satirist I would write a monthly check to Julie Hochstadter for her tireless efforts in managing one of the fertile sources of horse manure available anywhere in the country. Pound for pound we have some of the most interesting characters imaginable spouting goodness knows what sort of misinformation each and every day. All of it served up with heaping doses of a sense of entitlement that is breathtaking.

The thing that is most obvious is that if this were a web forum situated in a black neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, the FBI and the CPD would have long ago found ways to have it dismantled as one more hotbed spawning violence. The difference of course would be that instead of rants about the “urban youth” being responsible for this or that it would be harangues against “hipsters” from the North Side who needed to be taught a lesson regarding who “owns” the southern end of the Chicago Lakefront Trail.

But instead this forum hosts threads in which a member sees a confrontation between a police officer and a cyclist and decides that it warrants a report to Internal Affairs:

I plan to call their Internal Affairs office. I didn’t do it today, because I was hoping that another witness got the license plates number. Regrettably, no one did. However, I have a very good description of the driver, and I did follow his antics the whole way, as I was driving immediately behind him. I did not want to write a long essay on Facebook, but it was very scary and reckless behavior, regardless of whether the cyclist had actually done anything wrong — he did not. Even when he was pushed against the car by the cop, he maintained his composure, and was just trying to diffuse the potentially explosive situation. I’m really glad that no one was hurt. This cop endangered easily a half a dozen cyclists by forcing them out of the bike lane and into oncoming traffic. I narrowly missed hitting one myself with my vehicle, because he appeared out of nowhere trying to get out of the way. I really couldn’t stop and take notes, because I had two kids with me in the car.

At this point there is no knowledge of how or why the confrontation occurred by the member saw something that folks on the South Side of Chicago see each and every day and suddenly she is ready to report it to Internal Affairs. She would be a very busy person in most minority neighborhoods in virtually every big city in the country were she to take that tack as a member of those communities.

Crime is a very real problem is most major cities. Indeed in Chicago it has become our number one issue. We are fast becoming the Murder Capital of the Midwest. We already have visitors from outside the city phoning to find out if their conventions need to be transferred somewhere else. The Mayor and Chief of Police have grave concerns about this. But unlike some ChainLinkers they don’t resort to public name-calling but rather have developed a plan to deal with the true source of the violence, namely, gang activity.

But alas this is a web forum whose membership is largely white and what goes on here is allowed because of that fact.

Take a listen to one of the ChainLink’s finest (Gabe) as he tries to set the rest of us straight on what’s wrong with Chicago neighborhoods:

Howard – i went to bed – and now I’m sorry I did. So the original deleted response was”

People shouldn’t have to be told that the west side is a shit hole.Hey Bikers, the West Side is a shit hole! 😉 “

I feel so much better now 😉

Every now and then at least one person tries to channel Don Quixote on this forum. Daniel G makes an attempt :

If you let ghettoes form, don’t be shocked when people get territorial about their shitholes. It’s all they have. Just another hazard I don’t dwell on. If I let myself become preoccupied with whether cycling was “safe” on Diversey or Clark or Lincoln, I probably would stop riding in Chicago altogether. We are all basically activists treading a new trail and it is not safe. People get drunk and violent past 6pm, so ride fast. Segregation by race and income is a costly, bloody project, and we don’t get to cross between the good and bad sides of the tracks for free. Maintaining a presence there is very important and positive though, and the westsidecommuters should consider sending a rep to a neighborhood association meeting on the west side once in a while. Bicyclists are uniquely invested in the conditions of a neighborhood and its streets in a way that other road users aren’t, and nearly all west side residents will respect and acknowledge this.

Ride in groups, ride with mace, or take Armitage and just ride all the way around. Most parts of the west side are lovely at 7am, when I ride through. No parts are lovely for cyclists at 7pm.

At this point the thread has already devolved into name calling of one member against another. Dan Brown wades in with this version of the truth:

isn’t the chainlink great ? where else can we curse each other out and then make up over beers and washing bikes ???  I love to swear as much as the next guy or gal; and I will tell anyone to F*&% off.

Here is my $.02 :

the city and many suburbs have very bad sections many of us must ride through

crime rates always rise with rising temps (yesterday was hotter than H. E. double hockey sticks to ride home in btw)

we must all be extra vigilant as we navigate these “sh*tholes”

what really sucks is that is 100% acceptable for a thug to be wcalking around with a baseball bat

(he can claim “I am going to play baseball at the park…”) and the next minute it can become a

weapon against a cyclist or another innocent victim

let’s be careful out there and look out for each other !!!

happy friday 😉


p.s. kudos to everyone (esp. gabe) for calling a spade a spade

 Yes indeed Dan has identified the general ethos of this group. They love to swear at one another and to drown their bile in alcohol. What a wonderful combination. I found that very last line about “calling a spade a spade” especially clever. These guys always like to tiptoe up to the point where they almost call someone a “nigger” before backing off and thinking that “urban youth” is a bit more acceptable. But here he tries to slide under the radar of general sensibilities. Nice touch.
Dan goes on to give us a peek behind the curtain with this gem:

there are two things that are needed to survive on-line forums :

  1. thick skin
  2. short memory

Dan (honorary member of “Team Amnesia” (motto – “you don’t have to lie if you don’t remember what you did”)

Now for those who listen regularly to Rush Limbaugh you might recognize this as the rabid talk show hosts equivalent of “it’s just entertainment!” “Sure I just called your Momma a ‘ho, but it was all in fun. Don’t get Politically Correct on me!” And you should realize that Team Amnesia is his reference to being unable to remember because he was drunk at the time. A great line that and a motto for all of the hardcore ChainLink inner circle members.

Dave Barish finds this sort of thread a bit discomforting as well:

There are times when friends will all talk about a television program that excites them. If I have not seen the previous episodes I am lost when watching the current episode…I then viewed this thread and had that same feeling. Well…(and returning to our previosuly scheduled programing…)

Judgements aside, we all make decisions about how to get from Point A to Point B and consider the traffic, condition of the road and a variety of factors. Given the shared original post there is a valid assumption about routing. Frankly, its one that has changed very little in well over a generation.  Long ago I decided to ride to play Ultimate Frisbee with a friend’s team during the evening in Oak Park.  I was going from work in the loop. I decided to take a straight line path. I took Madison. I got there without incident but with great hesitation.  I chose to take Fullerton back east on my return trip. This was a less stressful trip.  I think I made a wise choice for the ride back east and would probably route myself the same way today.

His first paragraph contains a bit of a gem. As I read it there is a great deal about the ChainLink which can only be understood by having read the threads that led up to the current one. If you are not reading many threads you will certainly find yourself “lost” from time to time with innuendos regarding something else that happened in another situation. One more reason to suggest that like WordPress the engine that runs ChainLink named NING also needs a Related Posts function.

Before I leave the thread itself, let me indicate that Gabe treats this sort of thread as a “game” of sorts. It’s all entertainment to him. He writes:

Worst Thread Ever?? Fuck that noise! I love how this keeps rollin on. It took longer than expected for someone to call me a racist. I laughed and laughed. It’s not race related to say an area is a shithole if the folks in that area agree it’s a shit hole and given half a chance would move. Decent folks leave the west side cause it’s a shit hole and more decent folks would if they could. Fuck pc nonsense and be honest – makes the world actually better vs better on the internet. Someone else brought up Englewood- wanna say – Also a shithole 🙂. Serge thanks for the Latin and grammar lessons and Craig love blasting Blackheron all day! Best sand box ever! 🙂

Ok. Now let me get to the reason for having dragged you through this verbal muck.

A Man of Principles And Most Importantly Action

Rev. Corey Brooks is a person who probably spends very little time in on-line forums beating his gums about this or that aspect of ghetto life. You can read about his efforts here:

Unlink the entitled few of ChainLink this man lives and breathes the painfulness of life in the Inner City of Chicago. He has not despaired. Rather than labeling an entire population on the basis of the crime rate in their midst he has decided to act. No blathering, bloviating, blustering, drunken discourse, just action.

When you are a black man living in a war zone the only real solution is what you can do to counteract the negative influences of dope dealing, gang warfare and prostitution. ChainLink could be a great tool for helping to spread some useful information about the work that this young man is doing. But not a single person in the thread above either knows about his efforts or is willing to come forward if they do. Why?

I think that reading about Corey Brooks and others like him who have given their lives to remaking the saddest parts of the Inner Cities should be mandatory before ever beginning a thread like the one cited above.