Chicago needs a hero

Aaron Eckhart as Two-Face in The Dark Knight

Harvey Dent via Wikipedia

There is something wrong with the people in Chicago. I’ve come to the conclusion that Chicagoans are masochists. Or they are insanely depressed and they revel in their misery. Why?  Before I go into the political scandal running through the media tubes right now, let me first consider the weather.

The winters in Chicago are no more miserable or longer than say, Missouri, Michigan or Wisconsin, but everyone in Chicago complains about the weather…  Everyone jokes about their seasonal depression, about the howling wind, about how they don’t want to get out of bed, about the heaters that don’t work, about how many times they’ve slipped on the ice.  There is no shortage of creative types in Chicago; our local music and art scene kicks ass, so maybe because we are all artists in some way we need the coming of winter as a mourning, hibernation or renewal period, as long as we burst forth all fresh and new in the summer time all. Yes, yes, some of you will say the summers in Chicago are almost worth it, with all the food, beer and music festivals (including Lollapalooza). And let’s not forget the free beaches by our beautiful and calm lake. We Chicagoans relish the late spring and summer time.  It’s all well and good for us to like the summers in Chicago because we hate the long winters, but isn’t there something wrong with us when we insist on living here in the first place yet are vocally miserable for half the year?

Besides the weather, this city is falling apart. The water ways are being invaded by some very scary fish, pollutants and pharmecuticals, the CTA is a ticking time bomb as far as a major accident is concerned, the freight lines that wind into the city are giving people cancer and Chicago is close to winning the award on having the dirtiest air.  Our youth are killing each other, the suicide rates for the CFD and the CPD is one of the highest in the nation, our public school system is one of the largest but one of the worst,  we live in one of the most segregated cities in the United States, and if all these issues weren’t bad enough, they don’t hold a candle to our level of political corruption, the one thing Chicago isn’t “second city” in.

In fact, we are very very proud of our level of corruption. We like giving our hard earned and dwindling funds to the politicians (why else aren’t we rioting?). We have one of the highest sales tax rates in the nation, and that’s not including the Parking Meter debacle. King Daley reigns supreme and family dynasties are just the way politics work here.

Everyone knows about Blagojevich (he is being indicted again, fyi) and the Chicago media has moved onto a new scandal as quickly as the internet moves through memes.  Today’s hot topic is Scott Lee Cohen. Cohen is a millionaire pawnbroker (really?) running for Lieutenant Governor, and it has recently come out that he was an avid steroid user and violent husband. Cohen also held a knife to his  prostitute ex-girlfriends throat. I am not making this shit up. Cohen is refusing to step down, and urging his ex-girlfriend and ex-wife to talk openly with the media. I don’t know what good Cohen thinks will come from his ex-wife speaking to the media, considering she got a restraining order against him. Something like…. “he used to beat me but I think he is right for the job”?

All of the local media outlets are ashamed of the low turn-out at the primary a couple days ago…. some blame the weather, some reason the earlier vote date and shorter campaigns were the cause, but my two cents say Chicagoans are lost in a haze of “does my vote really matter?”.  Chicagoans would be ashamed of voting for a Republican considering Obama arose from the South Side, but can they really vote for a Democrat when there are all these corruption issues in the Illinois party? Can windy citizens vote for a Republican when it is now conventional wisdom that Republican ideology created this recession? What choice do Chicagoans have in this two-party system?

In an effort to not be such a Debbie Downer, Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero” will play me out, over Robin of Sherwood footage. This Chicago hero (or heroine!) doesn’t need to be as dreamy as Michael Praed but it would help. (Or go here if you prefer some Johnny 5 action)

[youtubevid id=”Ltps17if3t8″]

Some one please save Chicago! Its citizens have proven to be incapable of any action….

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10 Comments on “Chicago needs a hero”

  1. Caitlin Kelly says:

    And I thought NY — with the &^%#@s in Albany and Spitzer then Paterson and rising taxes and scandal-of-the-day was bad. I feel so much better now.

  2. Laura Heller says:

    That’s schadenfreude Caitlin. Enjoy.
    Wonderful summary, Fruzina. Just one criticism. Chicago doesn’t have ONE of the highest sales taxes in the nation, it’s THE highest.

    Now, I’m going back to bed and pulling the covers over my head until spring.

  3. Fruzsina Eordogh says:

    Aww, thanks for the comments ladies!

  4. Caitlin Kelly says:

    Laura, New Yorkers have little time and often less money available for normal hobbies. Schadenfreude is certainly the city-wide competitive sport.

    If Chicago is truly that horrible, why do so many T/Sers stay there?

  5. Facebook User says:

    …damn, I miss Chicago.

  6. Facebook User says:

    Mess though it may be, there’s also a unique sort of honesty to the city’s chaos… suburbia in its richest, most decadent form is killing me slowly.

  7. Laura Heller says:

    Jobs, homes, family, friends. And increasingly, there are economic barriers to leaving.

  8. James Finn Garner says:

    Personally, I stay for the wide range of arts offerings, from theater to music to comedy to opera. Plus the vibrant ethnic communities and the sense of history here.

    And the people. I love them and hate them in equal proportions, so for a person like me, that’s a win.

    Now, if we can only get the leadership we deserve. Two bright spots are AG Lisa Madigan and US Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald. Too bad they are content to stay in their yards, but who can blame them?

  9. James Finn Garner says:

    As Norman Mailer so aptly put it, when writing about the 1968 convention riots:

    “In Chicago, they did it straight, they cut the animals right out of their hearts—which is why it was the last of the great American cities, and people had great faces, carnal as blood, greedy, direct, too impatient for hypocrisy, in love with honest plunder.”

  10. […] number 1 in something…. We have the highest sales tax, and the highest level of corruption, among other things!? Chicago deserves to be the worst city in the United […]


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