I don’t remember sailor moon being so swarthy.
Dear Ms. Shteir:
I know your book review in the NYT Sunday Edition this weekend has provoked a lot of disapproval and fist-swinging from my fellow Chicagoans. Of course, I think even you will agree that yours wasn’t so much a “book review” as a polemic against our city (did you even talk about those books? Mr. Neil Steinberg frets and is consoled by a cabbie.)
But unlike the majority of the grumblers, I agree with your stance: Chicago is the shittiest town this side of the Mississippi and the Mason Dixon line.
We’re incompetent at electing our officials, and our winters teem with regret. We have, as you say, “greasy-spoon cafeterias, one-arm joints, taverns” in abundance. We have modish infographics that give the barest approximation of how we’ve managed to corral the blacks and disenfranchised into the upended L that stretches from the west of Chicago down through the South Side (neatly sidestepping the U of C, bien sur). Our public schools are closing and our streets are pimpled with potholes. And as the inimitable Whet Moser pointed out during last week’s flood when the River threatened to kiss the feet of the surrounding condos, this City owes a lot to its shit.
Our transit is screwy and our traffic is worse. We have a lot of tough guys (link is facetious) with hustler blood and we like to laugh about it darkly over cafeteria grits while farting.
Chicago is a hard city to live in, no doubt. She will skinflint you; repulse you; drag you into shitty conversations with Neanderthals and other yuppies; she will trick you with her soft flirtatious Junes, awe you with her Lake, somber and imperious despite its miles of imported sand and a fluctuating toxicity rate; Chicago will serve you rich food from dirty counters, embank Muslims, Hispanics, Koreans, Albanians, Polish, Ethiopians, and Indians all down one long, overcrowded northside street; will play with fire; will let a large number of people down. Chicago is hardly faultless, and she won’t pretend to be.
So guess what, Ms. Shteir? And here let me just push aside your misinformation and glitzy teeth-tapping umbrage with a city-owned Freightliner M2 snowplow for a moment…Chicago doesn’t give a fuck what you think. Oh, for SURE, we’re going to grouch about you and write tirades against you, but at heart we don’t care.
We don’t care because you never loved this city, for all its flaws. That’s on you. Maybe you tried, or didn’t, but you couldn’t see the swan, couldn’t touch the lovely so real, and the loss is yours, not ours. Chicago never divided your heart, never left you loving the joint for keeps, even knowing it never can love you. My guess? You never had much of a heart to begin with.
But buck up, Ms. Shteir, I’m sure you’ll make a rousing success of it in NYC.
P.S. Book review my fat fucking ass.
P.P.S. Love to all the Chicago writers, big-small-med, angry or not.
A lady of progressive inclinations might support vampire social reform, but she should not be so progressive as to accept being lunch.
Now remember, students, being undead is not an excuse for being unscrupulous.
McDonald’s Takikomi Gohan
Acquire ONE BIG MAC (or in France one ROYALE - yes thank you I have seen Pulp Fiction now), FRIES med, COKE large
Acquire also ONE SET OF CHICKEN MCNUGGETS
Finally Acquire ONE RICE COOKER
RICE goes into COOKER
Cover RICE in COOKER with FRIES med
Also Cover with NUGGETS and the ROYAL
Splash liberally with COKE, as one would temper a bœuf à la bourguignonne avec Burgandee.
COOK 30 mins
they never had much to say to each other
and no one likes pretending small talk
in a language in decay