Monday, December 21, 2009

Steve Rhodes - Chicago Journalist: Cyrano De Bergerac of Beachwood

I love Liberals and there are darned fewer of them than there were when I started teaching English.

Liberals were often very well-educated and well-dis positioned men and women who looked to the human heart for the path to God. Liberals are Cyrano De Bergerac*!

Liberals did not need Decalogues, Doctrines or Dogmas rather they found the wholeness of human decency to be a Universal.

I am far too lazy a man to have been a Liberal and far too ignorant to be a Conservative. Conservatives have already devoured the books that I intend to read - witness Steve Jordan, Elias Crim, Tom Roeser, Dan Kelley and Max Weismann. Conservatives are St. Thomas More.

I feature some where far between such heroes - a combination of Bob Newhart/Stanley Kowalski.

One of the great Liberals - no Progressive ( a Dogmatic Dewey Spewer and faux-Hegalian flannelmouth) - in my circle of friends is journalist and Beachwood Reporter Publisher Steve Rhodes.

I began to admire this energetic young man's work, while I was teaching at La Lumiere School in the early 1990's. Steve Rhodes wants God's poor and unprotected safe and happy, but will not distort or destroy history to make that happen.

Recently Steve Rhodes had been a contributor to Chicago. Along with Mary Ann Ahern, Steve Rhodes was one of my favorite Peacock Reporters.

Today, I learned of attempts by NBC to silence a journalist. Steve Rhodes has more integrity in his chin-whiskers than Peacock has lawyers.

Click my post title for a full account of Steve Rhodes' refusal to "Tickle the Horns of Mammon."

Here's a gem!

News organizations are the biggest hypocrites on the planet because they so often violate ethical standards - conflicts of interest, deception of the public - that they so often try to hold others to. Nothing is more disheartening to journalists who actually believe in what they do to hear of and confront and become entangled such untoward activities.

What would you have me do?
Seek for the patronage of some great man,
And like a creeping vine on a tall tree crawl
upward, where I cannot stand alone? No
thank you! Dedicate, as others do, Poems to
pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon
In the vile hope of teasing out a smile
On some cold face? No thank you! Eat a toad
For breakfast every morning? Make my knees
Callous, and cultivate a supple spine,-
Wear out my belly grovelling in the dust?
No thank you! Scratch the back of any swine
That roots up gold for me? Tickle the horns of
Mammon with my left hand, while my right,
Too proud to know his partner's -business,
Takes in the fee? No thank you! Use the fire
God gave me to burn incense all day long
Under the nose of wood and stone? No thank you!
Shall I go leaping into ladies' laps
And licking fingers? Or, to change the form-
Navigating with madrigals for oars,
My sails full of the sighs of dowagers?
No thank you! Publish verses at my own
Expense? No thank you! Be the patron saint
Of a small group of literary souls
Who dine together every Tuesday? No,
I thank you! Shall I labor night and day
To build a reputation on one song,
And never write another? Shall I find
True genius only among Geniuses,
Palpitate over little paragraphs,
And struggle to insinuate my name
In the columns of The Mercury!
No thank you! Calculate, scheme, be afraid,
Love more to make a visit than a poem,
Seek introductions, favors, influences? No
thank you! No, I thank you! And again
I thank you! But . . .
To sing, to laugh, to dream,
To walk in my own way and be alone,
Free, with an eye to see things as they are,
A voice that means manhood--to cock my hat
Where I choose-- At a word, a Yes, a No,
To fight--or write. To travel any road
Under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt
If fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne--
Never to make a line I have not heard
In my own heart; yet, with all modesty
To say: “My soul, be satisfied with flowers,
With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them
In the one garden you may call your own.”
So, when I win some triumph, by some chance,
Render no share to Caesar--in a word,
I am too proud to be a parasite,
And if my nature is not that which grows
Towering to heaven like the mountain pine,
Or like the oak, sheltering multitudes--
I stand, not high it may be--but alone!

God Bless Good Men!

1 comment:

Max Weismann said...

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a moral crisis maintain their neutrality.
--Dante Alighieri