Much as Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson conspired to create Brexit without any real plan for how to deal with victory, so did Ann Sterzinger and I pitch a pilot to a Hollywood director, that convinced us to found a Kickstarter without ever really expecting people to respond. And oh my God, did they respond …
And so without further ado, the history of CHICAGO LAKESHORE.
1. MY BEST FRIEND
This is Ann Sterzinger. Ann is an alien being inhabiting Chicago who subsists on a diet of caffeine, French literature and raw sarcasm. So far as I have been able to determine, Ann hates just about everybody.
She hates me a little less than most others and so we’re BFFs (best frenemies forever).
Ann and I are both writers. We’re old school devotees of the late 19th century schools of European literature. While most kids grew up wanting to be Jim Morrison, we wanted to be Balzac.
Because we were serious literary prodigies, we both went to college. We got degrees. We worked shit jobs for decades and devoted ourselves to our craft. Then ECLIPSE became a best-seller. Since then, we spend a lot of time talking about becoming mercenaries in fucking Syria or something whilst swinging wildly between despair, alcoholism and suicidal ideation.
We met on Facebook. I imagined Ann as an overweight chain-smoking woman in her seventies who wore mumus. She knew I was Canadian. That was enough for us to develop a healthy mutual suspicion of one another.
We started writing together. Oh sure, we could have had phone sex or indulged in some form of primitive long-distance cyber-romance but we’re both broke writers so rather than waste time on that bullshit, we started beta-reading each others’ stuff and then, later, collaborating. Our phone calls occasionally strayed into common territory. And we discovered …
We both had first-hand experience of the mental health system, myself as a guard and Ann as a patient. We began comparing notes and discovered that our experiences weren’t very different. In fact, they were eerily fucking similar.
5. CHICAGO LAKESHORE
Let’s be honest. The world is sinking into for-profit, corporate-driven mass psychosis. Ann and I have decided it’s time for a television show that reflects this emerging reality.
Welcome to the psychiatric-industrial police state. Welcome to Chicago Lakeshore.