[UFO Chicago] More about OSS Chicago

Nate Riffe inkblot at movealong.org
Wed Oct 8 01:56:07 EDT 2003

Just now Kiran made 15 LEDs in my apartment flash with this:
> This is the same phenomenon that makes people from Aurora & Naperville
> claim they are from Chicago. Although I assume the talk should be just
> as good.

You have forwarded the hypothesis that people make such claims because
they either know or presume that other people will not recognize or
place the name of their cookie-cutter suburb.  I'll see your
hypothesis, and raise you one of my own.  The inhabitants of the bland
monoculture surrounding the city of Chicago (and other distinguished
cities in America) have built nothing - either socially or
architecturally - that defines any part of suburbia as any different
from any other part of either suburbia or from any of the cities that
anchor suburbia, and rely on e.g. the city of Chicago as their point
of reference simply because they have nothing else.  I find it
absolutely pathetic that in a land area 10 times that of the city and
two or three times as populous, there is such a dearth of
differentiation that there is nothing which can compete with the city
and its amenities, even as a means of identifying various points
within Chicago's sphere.  Contrast that with people actually living in
the place that defines the entire region, who refer not to the city of
Chicago as a point of reference, but to areas within the city as small
as a quarter of a square mile in size.  This level of specificity is
possible because there is actual variety within the city's limits,
whereas it is unattainable in any other municipality within 70 miles.

You have also assumed that "the talk should be just as good".  I
challenge this assumption on the grounds that it takes a person of a
certain mental stature to choose a locality as disingenuous as Vernon
Hills to play host to a supposedly Chicago-based organization and then
to pin that organization on the coattails of the nearest genuine
place.  I don't presume that there is any malice, or in fact any
deliberation at all about this discontinuity.  But its mere existence
betrays a lack of cognitive discipline on the part of the organization
and its members which is probably not isolated to this particular


P.S. This message was designed to make specific people sit bolt
upright in their chairs for the time it takes to read this far.  Those
who have in fact achieved this sitting position may now relax.  Reread
as necessary to burn off the additional weight[1] which I like to call
"crybaby fat".

[1] http://www.google.com/search?q=city+suburbs+%22six+pounds%22

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pub  1024D/05A058E0 2002-03-07 Nate Riffe (06-Mar-2002) <inkblot at movealong.org>
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