Lake County, Illinois is apparently not what it used to be. In the 1980s it had been well off for so long it was the natural setting for a flamboyant but really kind of annoying movie about the problems of an affluent white youth. Half of the movie is an excuse to look at a red 1965 Ferrari 250 California GT and there’s also some whacky moments as young Ferris gyrates selfishly between parents, friends and his love object. Why it ever became a cult classic, though, is beyond us. Now, this not being a film blog anyway Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is only here as an entry point to a new Lake County that represents a changed American sprawl. If it were made today this movie would have a more realistic title like Ferris Bueller’s Permanent Layoff. The car would be a rotted out Geo Metro, too.
Nurses and physicians have steadily reminded us about the impact of poverty on our bodies, minds and communities. Social workers, too. Now we have commentary from a chief of police for an Ontario community that is part of a pilot policy project designed to guard citizens against poverty. Chief Hagerty’s work week in Lindsay (population 20,354 in 2011) no doubt involves more than a few metrics related to general community welfare. His officers are called to all manner of things from petty thefts to serious domestic violence. They also see something of the effects of substance abuse and mental health difficulties on the community. With such a picture in front of him it isn’t really surprising that Chief Hagerty has positive, constructive words for something that could increase the stability and wellbeing of the place he has responsibility for.
An artificial Intelligence application that processes US Census data and digital satellite photos is in existence. Penny can crunch the physical and numerical life of your community and describe its status. Yes, it is amazing. Yes, it is a tad creepy. Powerful stuff but what to do with this to better communities is the question to ask.