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'Boss' Season 2 key art salutes Chicago history

Starz gives another nod to Chicago history with the key art for Season 2 of its political drama "Boss."

In the image, Chicago Mayor Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammar) holds an iron hook--no, this isn't a horror/slasher series, but Kane does do horrible things--as his family members, employees and political pawns are shown hanging from meat hooks.

The caption says, "Power consumes everyone," while the Starz plug for the key art says, "In Kane's world you either show blind allegiance like cattle or become just another piece of meat for the machine."

The metaphor couldn't be more appropriate for a show filmed and set in Chicago. From the Civil War until the 1920s Chicago had the largest meatpacking center in the country and was considered the headquarters for the industry.

The industry brought many positives to the city, much like Kane does in "Boss." Chicago meatpackers transformed the industry, according to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, creating cool rooms and rail cars to keep fresh-chilled meats cold during transport, which basically started the dressed-meat business. They also came up with the butter substitute oleomargarine and found ways to use discarded animal parts to make glue, fertilizer and gelatin, among other things.

But like Kane's political machine--and, let's face it, Kane himself--the meat packing industry had its dark side, too. The industry exploited immigrants and the poor, making them work in deplorable conditions and for small wages. Upton Sinclair's 1906 novel "The Jungle" exposed the bad practices and corruption with the meatpacking industry and led the U.S. government to begin regulating the industry.

Only time will tell if anyone in the Chicago government of "Boss" will be able to expose Tom Kane's dirty dealings. The second season premieres at 8 p.m. Aug. 17 on Starz.

Here's the text of Starz release about the key art:

"Mayor Tom Kane (Kelsey Grammer) demands absolute loyalty from all who serve him, and he will stop at nothing in his pursuit of command over the city of Chicago. Those who betray him will suffer until their devotion returns and they once again feed his power. He stands, proud and determined as ever, in the center of a gallery where those who must atone are literally and figuratively suspended. In Kane's world you either show blind allegiance like cattle or become just another piece of meat for the machine."

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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