As a loyal Reader reader, I usually make a point of perusing the letters to the editor in each week’s issue. Upon occasion I find that someone has made a valuable correction to a story from previous weeks. But what always gets me is how much space is reserved for Chicago Antisocial bashing. It seems you get more mail about poor Liz than you did when you published the expose on the Scientologists, and these letters are just as cultlike.
I’ll bet that a good majority of your readers, whether they admit it or not, turn to Antisocial first or second thing after opening the paper. And why? Because it’s fun. The Reader covers politics, the environment, the oppressed, City Hall, sports. These are our vegetables. Antisocial is dessert, and that (I’m guessing) is probably the reason it was given space, and that is the reason that it still exists.
I believe Antisocial is valuable, not only because it provides entertainment, but also because it documents a specific group of people in a specific place. Fifteen years from now if people want to know what was going on in the Chicago party scene, they have a valuable archive to turn to. Why would people want to do that, you ask? I dunno, but look at how many people are fascinated by Studio 54, or Haight-Ashbury, or even the Beat generation. All of these scenes were made up of young people who were far too full of themselves, did far too many drugs, and spent a few years of their lives (sometimes much more) finding new and interesting ways to be seen and heard. Only later do these things garner any allure for those who weren’t there and wished (often secretly) that they were.
We’re given an opportunity to follow the adventures of a certain crowd, and we get to do so on a weekly basis, and what’s more, the accounts are well written and usually pretty funny.
But Reader, I’m not telling you anything that you probably don’t know. Good luck with everything. You’re doing a great job.