SCENE I. A house in Rome.
ANTONY, OCTAVIUS, and LEPIDUS, seated at a table
These many, then, shall die; their names are prick'd.
Your brother too must die; consent you, Lepidus?
I do consent--
Prick him down, Antony.
Upon condition Publius shall not live,
Who is your sister's son, Mark Antony.
He shall not live; look, with a spot I damn him.
But, Lepidus, go you to Caesar's house;
Fetch the will hither, and we shall determine
How to cut off some charge in legacies.
What, shall I find you here?
Or here, or at the Capitol.
THE WAR ON LISTS
Around this time, Shepherd made a rare daytime trip to a bookstore. When he couldn’t find a book he was looking for on the shelves, a clerk informed him the book must not exist because it hadn’t appeared on any publisher’s list the clerk had ever seen. Shepherd was positive the book existed, but no amount of insistence on Shepherd’s part could budge the clerk from his certainty. This encounter would prove to be the fuel for the fire to come.
Only one list matters and that is the mythical list St. Nicholas keeps concerning who is naughty and who is nice.
Those whom our reified Yule Saint pricks down may also keep lists.
If, however, you have come to a point in your life where you no longer believe that a ghostly gent with an Arctic address will be bring sacks full of X-Boxes and Barbies down the chimney, please ignore lists, don't compile lists and, please, for the love of God, do not encourage the over-paid imbeciles seated at some keyboard do so.
List-O-Mania, it might empirically and historically argued has helped create American Morons.
Polls and lists have become the drug of choice for people too lazy to read, walk down the street, think for themselves, entertain themselves and most all to love themselves.
Since, the late 1950's, beginning in New York City's radio stations and tabloids, lists have been compiled on any all topic, destination, person, incident and policy. One voice alone, stood in the way of List-O-mania and that was Hammond, Indiana born writer and wit Jean Shepherd. He was martyred and only allowed to pop his head above our shallow culture with A Christmas Story, for having taken on the New York Times Bestsellers List.
Shepherd's battle against Lists rivals the Alamo, Wake Island, Bataan, the Chosin Reservoir and Khe Sahn. What the. . . Sorry, guilty me making a list.
When God created the Universe (First Cause), He put into motion a series of events where matter collides with will and all things tend back to Him.
Like an Omnipotent/Omniscient Minnesota Fats, Mr. Trinity chalks up and stokes the cue in the only Act of Eternal Will that really matters - energy, force and matter scatters with the end of making us balls hit a pocket and return to the Brunswick bay near His loins - Big Bang!
Now, I have played pool and some idiot has, on occasion, grabbed a ball (cue and numbered), blocked the ball, bumped the table, spilled beer on the path of my sure-shot, or. otherwise. loused up the game. That lousing up by Lists is taking place in our Universe, Boys and Girls.
Polling has given us Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
Lists have made us stupid.
Let's pass over Polling, just for sake of not having an argument - 99.9% of my immediate family love Obama and I, because I have met and spoken with President #44 on more than few occasions, think that he is a dope. Likewise, 100% of my immediate and extended family ( myself included for the same reasons as not in the previous sentence) believe that Donald Trump is the turd in our National punchbowl.
Thus we are free to excoriate Lists. Lists were used to proscribe people deemed expendable by tyrants from Croesus, to Hitler, to Stalin, To Mao, to Nixon, to Valerie Jarrett. A proscription list meant that you and your family deader than Kelsey's Nuts.
Lists can be used for good as in the case of Poor Richard's Almanac, Seven Deadly Sins, Cardinal Virtues and such. Lists comprised by the superior gender stop the flood of cash from checking accounts, due to male impulse buying in grocery stores. However, as with anything once moderation has been scuttled the ship of sense sinks; bringing us to our Idiocy Universal.
God made the Universe. Who made the world? Carpenters and Bricklayers. Had to squeeze that one in.
Yes, God made the Universe and saw that it was good. Now, God Help Us All, there is a Listverse. It is bad, very bad.
One can not open a magazine, a newspaper, or website without being hammered senseless by Lists of -Top Tens - Forbes Plutocrats & etc.
I received a 25th Birthday present in 1977 from a cousin. The son of screenwriter and novelist Irving Wallace - one David Wallechinsky had just published a smoking hot bestselling tome of nonfiction - The Book of Lists: The Original Compendium of Curious Information. It was great take to bathroom literature and ,once done so, never allowed on the coffee table ( like I had one).
I have no idea where that gift ended up. I went through it. Now, I curse it. I should have smelled this skunk in the underwear drawer of America's soul.
Things went rampant from 1977 onward.
Rather than read great books, participate in drama, study history, practice athletics, live the virtues, Americans examined lists of everything and anything.
People need to go out and discover. Lists keep people home bound.
I discovered a great pizza place on the Northside of Chicago on my last birthday, when I was treated to an Evening With John Cleese Being Talked Over By Roe Cohn *at the Atheneum Theatre. It was raining and exquisite Miss Terry Sullivan and I wandered in search of a pre-show eatery and by luck took a right going south on SouthPort at George Street and at the end of the block found a tiny saloon with best pizza I have ever tasted.
We managed this discovery without the aid of a YELP, much less a Chicago Magazine Pay-to-Play Listing of approved venues and events.
Our experience was made all the more Nearer My God to Thee, because no list went into our discovery.
That is what God intended all of us to do.
* John Cleese is an enormously talented wit; Roe Cohn is on the radio, despite his limitations, intellectual and social.
The entire show consisted of Roe Cohn talking over John Cleese and telling stories about his shallow life. Tickets were over $56 for general admission. The pizza at Side Saloon balmed the fact that Roe Cohn bored a hole through a capacity audience. Prick Him Down, Antony!