Monday, December 16, 2013

Lists and Polls are for Donkeys -Jean Shepherd Pray for Us!

"I was new to New York, and I suddenly became aware that New York is almost entirely a city that really does run on lists.  . . . has it occurred to you that these lists are compiled by mortals and that they are human just like you are and, in fact, they have many more axes to grind than you?" Jean Shepherd Not on the Top Ten Famous Guys List

If it is not on the list it does not exist?  I once asked a used book store clerk on Milwaukee Ave.  in the Wicker neighborhood for a copy of J.P. Donleavy's brilliant The Compleat Unexpurgated Code. The tatooed twenty something with multiple piercings sneered,  "Ginger Man?  You mean Ginger Man?" I assured the fiery hipstress," No, this is a work of non-fiction Humor. " She checked the publication directory and the screen of computer and assured me " Jay Pee Donnelly wrote fiction. He ain't on the list."

He is.  J. P. Donleavy wrote fiction and non-fiction. In the ironic patois of the trendy and Kathleen Sebelius, "Whatever."

Consult -

The New York Times Book of Lists
Forbes List of Richest People ( World, Nation & etc.)
10 Best Mexican Recipes
!0  Best Mexican Restaurants
10 Best Mexican Bandits
10 Best Muslim Comics
10 Best Forrest Claypool Salaries

Yep, Lists - Capitalists, Communists, Journalists, Franz Liszt and Socialists -all kinds O lists. From Noah to the Southern Poverty Law Center, list makers jot down names and doom others. Lists; they are not on the lists!!!!!  Power mad creeps tend to love mking lists and cehcking them twice -Marc Antony, Santa, the IHSA, Stalin, Mao, Al Hitler, Organizing for America and Nielsons.

Who cares?  Rather, let's make this a declarative sentence;  its seems to me- Who cares most about lists would be people who do not get out much, don't read much, don't know much, and rarely contribute much.
I can name twenty great eating stops within a mile of Leo High School that would never be listed by professional Wicker Park liberals on the staffs of Chicago, or Chicagoist. . . , but Im not gonna.

I have yet to eat at a restaurant gushed over by Chicago Magazine, placed on a list in Chicagoist, or hit upon by dint of a second hand reader of lists. Seek and you shall find. Like Cliffs Notes, so-called educated and cultivated folks do not bother to read the urban, suburban, or rural landscapes in full and opt to be spoon-fed verities concerning where eat, what to think, what to read, what to believe, and whom to love.

Wanda Hickey
One the most literate and under-read writers, was the disc-jockey Jean Shepherd. Shepherd is now only recognized as the author of Christmas Story.  I read my first Jean Shepherd tome, while a freshman at Loyola.  I read Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories, the Hammond genius's collection of eight great short stories that introduced me to Scut Farkas, the Old Man, Schwartz and Flick long before my bride and I caught the Holiday movie as it played in Kankakee, IL at the Meadowview Theatre.  The creator of those wonderful people from Hohman ( Hammond) Indiana living in the actual Hessville neighborhood along Kennedy Avenue had been a disc jockey in New York City which is the national shrine of all lists.  Mr. Shepherd, like your humble correspondent, had a cordial hatred of lists. In fact he concocted a hoax born of this passion.  Jean Shepherd created a besst-seller, without writing a jot - I Libertine!

People listened to his radio show and began to talk about the book that never was.  It became a best-seller, because people who made lists said so.  People who live by lists believe anything e.g. Toni Preckwinkle, Sheila Simon, Mike Quigley, Forrest Claypool, Pat Quinn, Bruce Rauner, Marque Kirque, Judy Baar Topinka were all given birth by procreative act of making lists.  People accept comedy from Tyler Perry.  Religion from Jim Wall, Thought from Bill Moyer, and Happiness from Dan Savage.  No legislation comes to Gov. Pat Quinns desk without having passed the smell test of Paul Simon Institute polling.

A poll does exactly the same thing as a pole, though they differ.

O, List to the lay of this bold Irish Harper . . .

No comments: