Thursday, September 20, 2018

Some pictures from Monday's Reception for the 2018 Cook County Retention Judges... and some observations

For a great many Cook County lawyers and judges, Monday night's Bears victory was preceded by attendance at the 2018 Retention Judges Reception at the Chicago Cultural Center.

The room was packed... as is usual for this event... and the guests engaged in the light banter that is customary on such occasions... Hi, howareya! [*squinting to read name tag*] I haven't seen you in forever!... That's technically correct; I've never seen you either....

It was not unpleasant, though the crowded room was uncomfortably warm on a late summer evening.

After a couple of turns around the room, I thought I'd better take a few pictures.

The blogger with a camera knows that no one will pose for a picture without first setting down his or her refreshment.

And that's normal.

But, for the first time at one of these events, my picture-taking efforts met with a different sort of resistance.

I tried to get several people into pictures who were concerned about being photographed. Several refused outright. One judge asked me to not use her name if I ran her picture (I didn't do either). More than one judge cited personal security concerns.

I've seen this before, but not with judges.

Over a dozen years ago my wife and I served on a 100th anniversary committee for our parish. At an early meeting, I foolishly stated that the family directory that the parish had published 15 years before had been very useful (and we'd gotten a nice family portrait out of it, too) and I suggested that a new one might be similarly helpful for newer families.

Well, of course, I barely finished my sentence before the committee charged me and my wife with putting such a directory together. (I think my wife has finally forgiven me.)

Many of our neighbors and fellow parishioners are members of the Chicago Police Department. We had a tough time getting police families into the directory.

Several of the camera-shy cops explained: If someone with evil intent got hold of his or her family portrait, their children might become targets.

Now I didn't think that was particularly likely to happen with a directory that was published on glossy paper, in very limited numbers, and made available only to fellow parishioners. And some of our police neighbors evaluated the risks and came to the same conclusion. But I realized that the concerns that some expressed were genuine, and I respected them.

As I respect the concerns raised Monday. And this is the Internet, where pictures can go everywhere. So I totally understand -- but I lament this latest evidence of the deterioration of our society.

No comments: