Dear Liz Armstrong,
Stop. Your anecdotes are not interesting. Stop. Your stories are not poignant. Stop. The Reader does not need a weekend-party wrap-up. I’ve been reading your “Chicago Antisocial” column for about two months now, and I’m still not sure why it exists.
The only thing less fun than reading about a party is reading about a party that you’ve missed, and the only thing worse than that is reading about a party that you’ve made a concerted effort to avoid. In almost every column I’ve read, the last has been the case. I just don’t see the point. You write as if you’ve found Chicago’s seedy underbelly and uncovered some seething Factory-era Warholian underground utopia full of sweat and hedonism. The truth of the matter is that you’re writing about a number of well-advertised shows and parties at places with names, full of the same superficial assholes with the same deconstructed fashion sense on major streets in the same neighborhood. The truth of the matter is that your Wicker Park scene humping is not only transparent but years past relevant.
Your stories don’t seem to aim for that “snapshot of a specific time and place in Chicago” quality that might lend them a bit of credence. They are just braggadocio, masturbation. You are not a hedonist, just a self-promoter, just another fun-loving drunk like the Lincoln Park moms dancing on tables in Coyote Ugly and the wrinkled cocktail souses staring awkwardly from spreads in CS.
I have been reading the Chicago Reader for as long as I can remember and can’t conceive of a time when they dedicated a whole page so regularly for so much fluff, and I don’t think they need to. If you want to tell us how trashed you were this weekend and how great your bar friends are, go work for Red Eye.
Eric Lab Rat
PS: I hope that someday I’ll be able to tell a bunch of strangers about how I know the fashion designer of some radio-rock has-beens I thought were cool in high school . . . and try on their hats.