Chicago Convention Center Cites Last Year’s Threat In France As Rationale For Its Security Spending This Year
McCormick Place, a convention center in Chicago, Illinois, has announced that it is increasing security measures this year, putting security dogs, undercover police officers, electronic spying against conference attendees, and other measures into place because of a terrorist incident last year, 6,646 kilometers away, in France.
There has been no terrorist attack in Chicago in recent history, and there is no credible threat of terrorist attack against McCormick Place or anywhere else in Chicago. However, David Sloan, the General Manager of the Chicago Auto Show, which is held at McCormick Place, explained that the security measures are necessary because “these are the times we live in“. Critics of the Chicago Art Show counter Sloan’s security justifications by pointing out that we are actually living in “such times“, rather than “these times“, a subtle distinction that prevents federal protection of McCormick Place through the Department of Homeland Security. “Technically speaking,” says Emily Plutnik, Executive Director of the Chicagoloand Center for Accuracy in Temporal Cliches, “we are living in those times, not these times. So, these are not the times we’re living in.”
Peter Eelman, vice president of exhibitions for the Association for Manufacturing Technology, which runs the International Manufacturing Technology Show at the McCormick Place convention center, argues that the electronic surveillance and other anti-terrorist measures at the center are necessary “in light of the way things have gone in the world“.
How things have gone in the world includes shark attacks in Australia, so, presumably, Eelman will arrange for the distribution of rifles for spearfishing during the International Manufacturing Technology Show. Things in the world have also gone very wet, with big rains in India’s monsoons, so, by Eelman’s reasoning, we can expect the Association of Manufacturing Technology to build levees around the convention center, and hand out umbrellas for protection during its event.
Sloan clarifies that McCormick Place is providing big new anti-terrorist security systems to provide “a level of comfort“. McCormick Place has not, however, handed out pillow and blankets to conference attendees, or fuzzy slippers.