September 27, 2005
Around here, the same people who will tell you that corporations have a god-given right to do anything they damn well please with their business and their employees are having a major hissy fit these days, as the name of their favorite Chicago-based store to buy shit they don't need, Marshall Field's, is being changed to the name of their favorite New York-based store to buy shit they don't need, Macy's.
While thousands hit the streets over the weekend in D.C., L.A. and San Francisco to loudly protest Bush's profitable, bloody, lying-sack-of-shit war, folks here in Chicago were busy writing angry letters to the editor, signing petitions and tearing their shirts in agony over a store that was the upscale Wal-Mart of its day, and which has had a poor track record when it comes to treating its workers, especially women, fairly.
Well, fuck that, nearly everyone is saying--their warm, fuzzy childhood memories of window shopping, actual shopping, a "wonderful" lunch under the big xmas tree in the swanky Walnut Room and then carrying big green bags full of goodies home is being destroyed by evil New Yorkers. Shit, when I was growing up, we were not poor by any means, but my parents sure didn't have the money to go shopping at Field's, or anywhere downtown for that matter. For us, it was a big deal to take a trip out to the newly opened Woodfield Mall in the suburbs. (Hey, they had a big ass xmas tree, too.)
Even my main man Studs Terkel, one of the last voices of reason in this town (if not the whole fucking world), is jumping on the nostalgic bandwagon by calling the meaningless name change "horrendous" and that "the name of Field's represents our past. The past is being erased". However, Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper points out that this is not the first time this has happened to a Chicago "landmark" ("What next? The legendary Chicago Stadium giving way to some new arena named by an airline? Comiskey Park surrendering its name to some cell phone company?"), and that it will happen again.
So, even if someone bought The Metro (one of my favorite music venues in the city where I have many fond memories of seeing great shows) and named it after some asswipe like Jimmy Buffett, it still wouldn't piss me off more than this or this.