[UFO Chicago] Re: More about OSS "Chicago"

SqrFolkDnc at aol.com SqrFolkDnc at aol.com
Wed Oct 8 08:42:08 EDT 2003

I am proud to be an effete intellectual snob (how I date myself!), but I bow to the master.

When I am in Tennesee, talking to "iggorant hillbilly southerners", I identify myself as from Chicago.  When I am in Oak Park or Hyde Park, I identify myself as from Des Plaines, and often apologize for the incorrect pronounciation, which I am not responsible for.  For many intermediate audiences, I will say I am from the "Chicago area".  I would say the error of the original notice was in carelessness about who their audience was.  It's been a while, but wasn't this a road show travelling the country, hitting a few major metropolitan areas?  Wasn't this the show for the "Chicago area market"?  Yes, it would have been better to use the phrase rather than just the one word, but haven't spent enough bandwith on a discussion of "genuine places" as opposed to what, "fake places"?  Can we go on to something more constructive?

In a message dated 10/8/2003 1:56:07 AM Eastern Daylight Time, inkblot at movealong.org writes:

> 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
> phenomenon.

--Carey Tyler Schug

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