Eat at Ida's | Private Eye | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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News » Private Eye

Eat at Ida's

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Ivanka Trump does nothing for me. Literally, a big zero. I don't find her even a small bit as attractive as her father does, his eyes just now giving her a loving scan as she speaks at a televised White House conference. She's complimenting small business owners—and presumably me—on our "soul, spirit and tenacity." As if she'd know. I wanna throw up.

This is my coronavirus stay-home, stay-safe life—being a cranky, channel surfing old fart who should be day drinking. Or riding a bike along the Jordan River. But here I sit. I can only tolerate Fox news in small doses during the non-witching hours, and that's the station now showing off Ivanka. Predictable laudatory comments are sure to follow from White House officials along with an equally predictable parade of compliant small-business owners who will fill the necessary optic niches. Minority? Check. Female? Check. Immigrant? Check.

So, click, and voila! CNN, to no surprise, is not covering the small-business owner press conference. Their viewers may thus never have the pleasure of watching President Trump eye-meld his daughter. Instead, CNN is scouring data and pulling up their own set of experts to speak to us about how bad coronavirus is going to get. It wasn't even a week ago that our president let loose a word salad of possible coronavirus cures that included asking about the injection into our bodies of common bleach as a viable cure option. I've recently met people who don't know that Dr. Trump theorized about the Clorox Cure. Hmm. How could they miss that?

Well, because I do it, too. I echo chamber and miss half of what's going on. Even on the occasion I agree with MSNBC, I can barely tolerate their cast of hosts and pundits (outside of Rachel Maddow who wows me with her smarts) who mostly remind me of certain college professors I never liked, who drink coffees with funny names and who, like President Trump and Tucker Carlson, never had anyone course correct them with a smack upside the head when they behaved like pompous asses. Each of the big three cable news networks are quite predictable politically. I try to switch around, but really, for me it's a matter of personality. MSNBC hosts are too smarmy, Fox hires the outrageously stupid and the CNN team is baby bear—not too smarmy, not too stupid. Except for Wolf Blitzer.

That's where I am today. Channel surfing, being snarky to the TV that doesn't talk back and not learning a damned thing. But, this isn't where I want to be. I want to be in a place where I can help the person who just now sent me this text: "Hi. Ida here at Salazar's Café. Can you give me a little advertising? We are dying again. I appreciate. Thanks." I've never met Ida Salazar. Her café has never been an advertiser on our pages as far as I know. I don't know how she got my phone number. That's her second text to me. After the first one, I drove to her place on 900 East about 3300 South and bought some food to go. We posted pictures of it on our social media, and I hope people showed up to support her. If you're reading this, perhaps you can stop by for an enchilada plate.

That happens throughout the day—texts, emails and phone calls to myself and other members of the City Weekly staff from distraught small-business owners asking for advice, solace, fellowship or camaraderie. I've known thousands of small-business owners over the many years here at City Weekly. I can't imagine a single one of them reaching out to Ivanka Trump for help or advice on anything. I can imagine them being polite if asked to share a podium, but they all know that Ivanka and all the rest of the White House team are as useful to them as melted ice cubes in a glass of southern sweet tea.

Such it is that we—who belong to an industry that that bankers flew south on a decade ago—are being sought out for banking advice. So, here it is: If you are banking at JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo or any other of the big U.S banks, leave them and leave them now. Since the billions of dollars of funds for small-business first became available in mid-March, those large banks did precious little to lift the "soul, spirit and tenacity" of the Main Street small businesses that the funds were intended for. We are a local company that tirelessly asks of our community to support local. However, we hypocritically bank at Chase. We won't for long. We're pulling out. We hope others do, also.

Chase stiffed us on the PPP opportunity, for the past month pretty much ghosting us while NBA teams, cruise lines, and massive restaurant chains got millions, including a buddy of President Trump (the recipient of a $50,000 campaign donation), who got $96.1 million and seeks $30 million more despite revenues over 2.2 billion last year. Oh, the hurt! Between just all of those, upward of 10,000 needy small businesses could have gotten relief. In banking, it's all about the grease in the banker's palm, not the grease under the fry cook's egg.

So, last week we tossed a Hail Mary to Cyprus Credit Union where we still held an ancient bank account. That was Thursday. On Friday came news from Cyprus that we may be funded this week. It's seems encouraging, and we're hopeful, because without it, this might become the last Private Eye column, a collector for persons who collect death notices. Maybe not. Perhaps, we'll see you at Ida's.

Send comments to john@cityweekly.net