Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Perspective ...

Manhattan's Oktoberfest 2.0 sucked. (More proof that Jeanine is almost always right). The idea of VIP status (which cost us all an extra $20 on top of an already outrageous $30 base charge, considering food was extra) was either truly spurious or merely poorly executed, but either way, we got robbed blind and received nothing for our $20 other than a real glass mug as opposed to a plastic one. I expected a separate VIP area (perhaps with pretzels on the tables), but in fact no such area existed, which was all the worse because we were subjected to an excessively annoying, loud, and hyperpatriotic MC who would not shut up. The location on the highway paled in comparison to City Park. The table service promised may have existed briefly at the beginning but quickly evaporated. Nobody checked VIP status at the nicer bathrooms, which meant that anyone could use them. Basically, I ended up paying $25 per liter, received little extra, and wish I had listened to Brent's initial concerns and followed through on an idea I had soon after we all paid for our tickets: if the ten of us or so had pooled our money, we could have thrown ourselves a lovely catered party complete with the exotic keg of our choice.

At the same time, I realize that Oktoberfest does not actually mattter (and that any night drinking beer with Jeanine and my friends is a good night). Last night's KSU Lou Douglas Lecture  a tiny and underfunded lecture series at KSU that addresses important topics like international development, poverty, and women's rights and tries to balance the heavy-hitting, right-leaning, and presidentially attended Landon Lecture Series  was on domestic minor sex trafficking in the U.S. The talk, while excellent, could not have been more depressing. Apparently over a million minors in the U.S. are involved in the illicit sex trade in some form (the vast majority against their will). I knew many homeless youth were victims of sex crimes, of course, but I had no idea of the extent of the problem in the U.S. I guess I associated sex trafficking with desperately poor countries like Moldova ever since I read a great New Yorker article on the topic. In theory, at least, combating this problem should unite feminists and social conservatives, so how about a $50 tax per millionaire to fund street outreach programs and shelters? What politician could oppose that? More on tax policy to come ...

1 comment:

  1. I suggest we follow your idea next year - pool our resources and have something catered with a keg of our choice.