Jagoff of the Week: The “My Chicago” Jagoff
By Bill Savage
This originally ran in our special Lumpen Field Guide to Chicago Jagoffs
This individual can be of any race, ethnicity, class, or gender, and is defined by the perpetual insistence that his or her neighborhood is the authentic Chicago. “My Chicago,” this jagoff will ALWAYS say “is the real Chicago.” If this jagoff is from the North Side, the South Side is just a wasteland of crime and corrupt politicians with a ballpark and a few museums. If this jagoff is from the South Side, the North Side is just yuppies and bike messengers and the Gay Pride Parade. If this jagoff is a Cubs fan, Sox fans are just thugs. If this jagoff is a Sox fan, Cubs fans are not real Chicagoans because they’re not working-class South Siders (This, by the by, is the only way in which Studs Terkel was ever a jagoff). The “My Chicago” jagoff insists that his or her favorite bar, or hot dog stand, or pizza joint is the best in Chicago, despite never having, you know, tried any others beyond the boundaries of their neighborhood or parish. If the “My Chicago” jagoff has moved to the suburbs, he or she will still insist that the area its family fled is more “real” than anywhere else, including the white flight suburb they now infest. This particular breed of Chicago jagoff is endemic to all parts of town but is most annoying when a way with words leads to work in the media, where they perpetuate bullshit about sports loyalties, pizza, ketchup on hot dogs, and other foundational myths of Chicago Authenticity.
We will be running entries from the Field Guide on this website, one a week, until we run out, and then we’ll just make up some more. If you have a jagoff you’d like to submit, email Lumpen online editor Sam Stecklow here.