CHICAGO – The 2011 premiere of Shameless, a show about a family struggling to make ends meet in Chicago, changed the lives of suburban white girls forever. The drama features endearing characters who are constantly coked-up, steamy sex scenes that always end in pregnancy and subtle advertisements for chain smoking. Located in the North Lawndale neighborhood, the Gallagher house (named for the family the show is centered around) has become the destination for a new cultural phenomenon: the white girl’s pilgrimage to the West Side set. In response to the spiritual expedition, a new religion has formed that offers a welcoming space to Shameless devotees.
“We decided to make our mass exodus to the Gallagher house after joining The Church of Holy Showtime Devotion,” said Michelle Cabrera, a recent convert to the Shameless religion. “I’ve never been so moved by a work of art as I was by Shameless. I knew I had to see where the magic happened. It was like seeing the true cross, only more ghetto,” said the junior sociology major.
The crusade wouldn’t be nearly as important to it’s participants without the added element of danger. The weak of heart have left the religion for fear of traveling to one of the city’s rougher neighborhoods.
“We could, like, get shot or something,” said Rose Cemper, “but I would risk anything to see the spot where Lip smoked his 500th cigarette.”
The current family that lives in the house reports not knowing the home’s significance when they purchased it and told The Gull that they are planning on moving out if the snipers positioned at the windows don’t scare away the fanatics.
“Oh my Fiona, are you serious?” said Gilly Gipper, the religion’s founder, when told about the family’s plans to move, “we could totally buy it and turn it into our place of worship.”
Residents of the North Lawndale area seem to be in support of the Church moving in, as long as they remove the 10-foot-tall crucified Lip Gallagher statue.