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Poster Putdowns

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A private source of amusement for three young ad agency workers—designing "slightly insulting Chicago posters" for all 77 Chicago community areas—has recently grown into a business. Here's the thing: while the upmarket neighborhood putdowns consist mainly of gentle lifestyle ridicule (i.e. Roscoe Village, where "Lululemon-wearing skinny Vanilla latte-drinking stroller pushers DO NOT YIELD"), the downtrodden South and West Side nabes get an overdose of racial overtones. Try this, for instance: "Garfield Park, a beautiful park surrounded by streets so dangerous you shouldn't even go there on Google Maps". The business' tumblr has caught the attention of some, including the neighborhood blog Austin Talks, which interviewed the creators and called on outside expertise to render a verdict. The expert, Maro Roc, a teacher in the Department of Sociology at UIC, found the Austin poster and several others employ "hipster racism"— racism shielded by a more thought-out, humorous delivery. "If you don't get it, it's because you're not sophisticated enough to get it or you don't have that type of sense of humor." That might not be the business' intent, but the fact that the creators don't know many of these 'hoods in the slightest is problematic. [Slightly Insulting Chicago Posters]