Saturday, June 28, 2008

RADLEY BALKO IS A FUCKING IDIOT

This morning I awoke early and perused the Chicago Tribune on-line. The lead article was written by a guest editor from something called Reason Magazine ("Free Minds and Free Markets!") which apparently is some sort of libertarian publication. Said magazine recently compared 35 major US cities and ranked Chicago dead last in terms of "freedom"....and implying that Chicago has turned into some kind of a fun-free zone. To wit:

"Chicago reigns supreme when it comes to treating its citizens like children (Las Vegas topped our rankings as America's freest city). Chicagoans pay the second-highest cigarette tax in the country, and the sixth-highest tax on alcohol. Chicago has more traffic-light cameras than any city in America (despite studies questioning their effectiveness), restricts cell phone use while driving, and it's quickly moving toward a creepy public surveillance system similar to London's."

The previous facts are exactly that...a pack of smokes costs about $8, several major intersections near me have recently installed red light cameras, we are not supposed to use our cell phones when driving and there are surveillance cameras popping up like weeds.

On the surface, the facts suggest Chicago has lost is edge, but the reality is anything but. The Chicago City Consul routinely passes idiotic laws such as banning foie gras, but it's not as if such laws are enforced. When that particular law was enforced, the fancy places that serve that nasty shit simply changed the name of it on their menus. Case in point, we Chicagoans are clever sons of bitches.

While our local government may pass stringent laws, citizens in the City of Wind excel at evading them, because, well, we just don't give a fuck. You have to really suck at life to get caught breaking the law when it comes to things like drinking in public, blowing herb while walking down a street or engaging in random acts of sodomy in full view of your neighbors (I know nothing of such things...haha).

Like many of my fellow Americans, we here in Chicago easily adapt to whatever bullshit legislation is passed to appease a minority of stupid pussy fucks. Take prohibition. Alcohol is illegal? OK! Rather than complying with that edict imposed by Congress, we made a cottage industry out of circumventing that restriction, and profited handsomely (i.e. Al Capone). Chicago is still one of the few cities that I am aware of where bars stay open until 4AM, close, then re-open at 8AM (i.e. The Globe - great place to watch football matches).

It's true that we pay insane taxes. But at the same time, I can get a haircut at any number of places for $5 and on my way back to my 2 bedroom apartment (which rents for $925 a month) I can pick up a sixer of Old Style for $3.50. There's a Mexican restaurant near me that makes burritos twice the size of me face for $2.50. I can get my car hand washed, inside and out for $10.00. Rarely does a weekend go by that I don't have the option of seeing a sick live show for $12.

My point is, Chicago remains a great city in which one can work and play HARD in for not that much money. And you can act like a total fucking drunk asshole and not get popped by Chicago's finest. You just need to be aware of your surroundings...and not live in Lakeview if you don't want to get raped for rent. OK - I'm rambling, so I'll leave it up to Carl Sandburg to explain the city I still see:

Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders.

While we may no longer be the literal "Hog Butcher for the World" we remain so in metaphorical terms. Take that as you may, but this city is the MOTAHFUCKIN' SHIT and if anyone disagrees, you are free to meet me in the alley behind Cardinal Liquors on Lincoln and Ainslie to discuss your viewpoint.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to move my car because a block party is about to break out on my street.

4 comments:

Cockbag LLC said...

Chicago is a great city and that is coming from a Cardinal fan from St. Louis

fred said...

Could not agree with you more...headed to boystown w/ friends tonight....looking forward to parade tomorrow...would love to buy you a drink, but don't know what you look like so i will ocassionly yell Justin, if you turn up, the next drink i buy is for you....if not i wish you and all a happy and sex filled pride

Anonymous said...

So are you saying Chicago is great in spite of not because of its leaders?

Radley's right. City council, the county commissioners and the General Assembly are slowly encroaching on our freedoms.

jason said...

I've heard nothing but good things about Chicago...from those I know who've lived there (except the weather).
I wish we had a bit more oof those "stringent laws" around here in the city that care forgot.