A recent “essay” in the New York Times has created a media frenzy not seen since serial killer Andrew Cunanan passed through Chitown, Versace-bound. The title of the article is "Chicago Manuals" but its the city that gets the shifted stick.
Author Rachel Shteir weaves her off-kilter criticism of three exciting and long awaited Chicago-themed books with her own heavy-handed 3-way review. It's rather a wallop of a laundry list of what’s wrong with Chicago.
Shtier is a theatre professor at DePaul University, a 13 year resident of Chicago and a transplant from St. Elsewhere. She wrote a well received book on the history of strippers--(Did Chicago at least get a pastie shout out?)-- and is now about to publish a book on the history of shoplifting.
No, you can’t make stuff like this up. You could, but then it wouldn’t be as wacky. Or as fictionally non-fictional.
For those unfamiliar with her piece you need only to look it up online, read the various media responses, listen to the outrage on NPR or watch NBC’s Carol Marin Go Oh-So-Politically Ape Shit. And we're not talking Bushman here, though we’re all probably somehow responsible for his early primate death from eating a bad Mars Bar. (Another suspicious, Chicago-made product that should be looked into...)
From ex-Mayor Daley selling us down the parking meter river… a point all Chicagoans agree upon… to our crooked politicians (what city/state doesn’t have those by the subpoena-full?)… to Chicago’s weird global warming inspired weather… there is little Shteir doesn’t have a beef about.
All beef hot dogs? A Chicago institution? Has anyone seriously looked into these Vienna people?