There are so many intelligent and articulate people covering the hard-hitting
issues in our country these days, that I felt it was my duty to cover the
rather inconsequential bullshit that tends to make up the vast majority of
our lives. Actually, I'll just be griping a lot which, if you weren't aware,
doubles as a synonym for complaining, and as a descriptor for
a sharp pain in the bowels.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Civic Pride

This has nothing to do with loving your little Honda. They seem to be good, reliable cars though.

Every now and then I plop down on this here blog and opt not to do a nonsensical analysis of whatever-the-hell rife with free association and instead editorialize. Well, if being technical (and I often am nitpickingly so) just about all of blogging is editorializing and, if we (I) want to get more aggravating I could completely disavow the possibility of objectivism and say that any reporting of the facts is still editorializing. But there is a line, editorializing falling on the side of admitting you have an opinion and asserting it. You can say you're trying not to be biased all you want, but hell we all are.

In that bias then, I've got a deep appreciation for the city that has been my home these past four years. So when I stumble upon ancient editorials from visiting "New Yorkers" who have a love for the city, it's a good reminder of the quality of this place. We get a little hung up on asserting that something is better in relation to something else. This is important, there should be standards and there's a need for comparatives, but sometimes, you know, you can say what's good about something, without saying it's better or worse than anything else. When you throw in the comparative, you're giving it credit, probably too much. Leaving it out isn't ignoring it exists, even if someone might then try to argue that that's what you're doing. Chicago is not New York, or LA, or San Francisco. It's sister city to places like Paris and Moscow, which is cool, and Chicago wouldn't be the place it is without all of these other cities existing, but it's still its own beast. And so are they all.

I think my fascination with Chicago is one shared by many, that it has an underdog nature, even though in many ways it's no underdog at all. But that's a moniker it can't really shake despite all of the things that come out of here. And plenty of that is by design: it wants to be seen as working class, even though there's no shortage of extremely wealthy people, no shortage of those in poverty, no shortage then in disparity of wealth. And while for some the "second class" title is the chip on the shoulder, for others it's nothing more than an acknowledgement that that's how we're viewed. Because that's life in general: some people will understand you, some won't, some will hate or love you, and it can be for the understanding or the lack thereof. You can embrace being different without hating people who just want to be the same. It's easy to forget that, for some people, it's just as hard to fit in as to stand out. That not everyone wants to stand out even in our fame hungry nation.

America loves the front-running, free-wheeling style of a New York, the glitz and glamour (seriously, I used the British spelling?) of LA, and they also really love an underdog. People will argue over hot dogs and pizza. I don't eat hot dogs, and I generally prefer east coast pizza. But Chicago's got a lot more than just that, and if I don't like it, I can always move.

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