Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chicago Sucks: Some Educated Views

As we endure yet another grey overcast day in the endless Chicago winter, the rosy protestations of Daley and the legions of Chicago boosters as to how this is "a world-class city," and "the greatest city in the world," tend to run a little thin.

Here are the words of some notables who, over time, expressed an eminently less favorable view:

"Chicago is unique. It is the only completely corrupt city in America."
Charles Merriam, unsuccessful mayoral candidate in 1911

"Satan (impatiently) to Newcomer: The trouble with you Chicago people is, that you think you are the best people down here; whereas you are merely the most numerous."
Mark Twain “Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar,” 1897

"When you feel like tellin a feller to go to the devil — tell him to go to Chicago — it’ll anser every purpose, and is perhaps, a little more expensive."
Mark Twain (”Snodgrass’ Ride on the Railroad”) 1856

"I have struck a city — a real city — and they call it Chicago. . . . I urgently desire never to see it again. It is inhabited by savages."
Rudyard Kipling, 1891

"Germany was the cause of Hitler as much as Chicago is responsible for the Chicago Tribune."
Alexander Woollcott, 1943

"Hell has been described as a pocket edition of Chicago."
Ashley Montagu “The American Way Of Life,” 1967

"Here is the difference between Dante, Milton, and me. They wrote about hell and never saw the place. I wrote about Chicago after looking the town over for years and years."
Carl Sandburg, 1961

"A facade of skyscrapers facing a lake and behind the facade, every type of dubiousness."
E.M. Forster

"There’s only one thing for Chicago to do, and that’s to move to a better neighborhood."
Herman Fetzer

"Chicago — a pompous Milwaukee."
Leonard Louis Levinson

"Loving Chicago is like loving a woman with a broken nose."
Nelson Algren

"Chicago is an October sort of city even in spring."
Nelson Algren, Newsweek, August 13, 1984

"Your machinery is beautiful. Your society people have apologized to me for the envious ridicule with which your newspapers have referred to me. Your newspapers are comic but never amusing. Your Water Tower is a castellated monstrosity with pepperboxes stuck all over it. I am amazed that any people could so abuse Gothic art and make a structure not like a water tower but like a tower of a medieval castle. It should be torn down. It is a shame to spend so much money on buildings with such an unsatisfactory result. Your city looks positively dreary."
Oscar Wilde, February 13, 1882

"I suppose Chicago's a nice enough place, but your weather is just so filthy."
John Cleese

"Chicago is a great place to be from."
Bob Fosse

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Comments invited, however anonymous commentors had better deal directly with the issues raised and avoid ad hominem drivel. As for Teachers' Union seminar writers -- forget about it.