So I just read that a legislator from Chicago wants to have that city declared America’s 51st state. I like Chicago. I ran the marathon there last year and look for any opportunity to point out that I did. I like Chicago but this feels more like a New York City move.
There is no city in the world more narcissistic than New York. Every TV show has to be set there, every movie has to be set there. Jeter is “the best shortstop ever” because he plays there whereas he would be “the most okay shortstop ever” if he was on the Brewers. Yet you can’t piss on the sidewalk in New York without hitting some resident (also pissing on the sidewalk) assuring you that you are both pissing on the sidewalks of the “best city in the world!”.
Yes, New York is the best city in the world…provided you’ve never been to London. Or Barcelona. Or Dubai. or San Francisco. Or any number of other cities that are equal to or better than New York. Besides, is this purely an American affliction? The constant declaration of one land mass to be superior to another? I mean, if one place is really cool eventually what made it cool get watered down with a bunch of posers showing up to bask in that reflected light (I’m looking at you, NYC. Maybe you were cool in the ’70’s but now you’re just a bunch of dudes in Yankee hats who really wish they lived in Jersey). It isn’t the capital of the world, it isn’t the capital of America and I’m pretty sure it’s not even the capital of New York state.
But I digress, my point is that this lobbying for statehood seems like something directly out of the New York City playbook. ‘Hey, we’re the best city in the world, we should be a state. Red Sox suck!’ and I for one expect better of my midwestern states/cities. I live on the East Coast, these types of things are expected of us. We are the A-hole first born of the nation; entitled, lazy, declining in actual power. But, Chicago, you are the capital of our middle siblings; reliable, steady and genuinely nice (I bet you say hi to Iowa every time you see them, right?), you are expected to just be decent and not rock the boat. Or at least not rock the boat for an idea so foolish that New Yorkers haven’t even come up with it yet.
Just to finish the analogy, the West Coast is like the younger sibling that nobody really knows who is off “doing something with computers” who shows up for a family dinner last night with a spouse no one knew about and a million dollars that no one can account for.
Anyway, Chicago, surely you know that you are free to do what ever you want but proceed with the knowledge that should you pursue this is will be at the risk of losing the silent respect of anonymous blogger and ask yourself if you are willing to sacrifice that.
Besides, would the map then have Illinois, like wrapped around the state of Chicago? Ridiculous!