Friday, November 03, 2017

DNAinfoChicago R.I.P.: Ye Hardly Knew Ye.

Image result for Joe Ricketts and DNAinfo Chicago

I read DNAinfoChicago from the get-go.   It was, at first. a great news aggregate that offered local coverage.

I gotta go with Joe about its demise, Joe Ricketts, that is, the Cubs' Grandpa, “And while we made important progress toward building DNAinfo into a successful business, in the end, that progress hasn’t been sufficient to support the tremendous effort and expense needed to produce the type of journalism on which the company was founded.”

News coverage of local events became less devout and political hack-work seemed to ooze from every column.

DNAinfoChicago somehow morphed into the detested MEDIA.  Same old, same old.

Solid writers like Mark Schipper and Ed Komenda disappeared and activist group-think writers dominated the coverage.

Most telling for me was the awful coverage of the idiot who pulled a gun on people after he was asked to not block the entrance of the firehouse on 111th Street.Image result for Joshua Beal,

The idiot was shot and killed, when he aimed his weapon at people.

The idiot had been celebrating a relative's funeral by weaving in and out of the heavily trafficked lanes of 111th Street, the commercial district for the Mount Greenwood neighborhood.  Traffic stalled and the Hossier Hothead acted out with his weapon and his mouth.

I had had my haircut on the site of the violence and where the dope met his demise, only an hour before the folly.

However, DNAinfoChicago  reporters, Joe Ward especially. conflated identity politics, race-baiting and social justice warfare with what had taken place - Marist high school was placed in the cross-hairs and community scab-yanking over imagined and occasionally accurate racism became the menu all of the month of November 2016, until the facts un-Pflegered the story.  Joe Ward never once considered covering the Revolutionary Communist Party's orchestration of the post shooting protests.  That would have chopped his narrative.
Image result for Joshua Beal, pfleger

The DNAinfo Joshua Beal mythology can be found here, because the archived yarns are shut down.
Joe Ricketts owned the site and Gothamist and decided to close shop.

Conflated coverage of the news is what the detested American media is all about.  People want to know what is happening in their neighborhoods.  DNAinfoChicago tried to do that and ended up being another detested outlet for prefabricated opinions.

The Sun Times, owned by the public service unions, did a hit piece on the news of DNAinfoChicago's demise, not unlike the covergae of the late Mr. Beal:

A week before the shutdown, the Gothamist and DNAinfo newsrooms in New York voted to join the Writers Guild of America East, which released a statement Thursday saying “it is no secret that threats were made to these workers during the organizing drive.”
In a September post entitled “Why I’m Against Unions At Businesses I Create,” Ricketts wrote on his personal blog of his belief “that unions exert efforts that tend to destroy the Free Enterprise system.”
“I believe unions promote a corrosive us-against-them dynamic that destroys the esprit de corps businesses need to succeed,” Ricketts wrote. “And that corrosive dynamic makes no sense in my mind where an entrepreneur is staking his capital on a business that is providing jobs and promoting innovation.”
According to a New York Times report, 115 reporters from the websites who are now out of a job will receive three months of paid “administrative leave” at their full salaries, along with four weeks of severance pay.
Joe Ricketts was right.   Joe Ricketts gave his employees a pretty decent severance package.  More than an SEIU janitor can expect when all of the public funding has dried up.

So, we say goodbye to DNAinfoChicago.  Goodbye.

Thanks for the shot at news coverage Joe Ricketts.  It was appreciated by people like me, until the good writers disappeared.

Next time you set up shop, hire writers and tell the 'journalists' to get a union card and get fitted for a purple T-shirt.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Where Did All of Chicago's Hedge Bushes Go?

My childhood home at 1755 W. &75th Place today has all but been de-nuded of hedges - only a slight strip remains.

I walk to St. John Fisher in the morning between 6:00 and 6:30 A.M. - weather, laziness and time permitting.  It is a solid mile to the church and my vigorous gait usually gets me there in under fifteen minutes.  I mediate, plan the day, wallow in guilt and pray during this exercise.

Since childhood, I have had the attention span of parakeet ( 'bite the cuttle bone!' -'whack the bell!'-'head-butt the mirror!' - 'splash water!') and tend to flit the old noggin with varying perceptions - "this guy's lawn is worse than mine . . .Thank Christ. Charleston Chew wrappers!!!!  Where they get Charleston Chews? Love those.  These kids on Talman have more Fisher Price toys than Toys R Us . . . cool fort" for example.
hedge-in-wickham park-chicago
Occasionally, this quality time of mine pulls together larger questions.  These past few days, I have noticed the lack of property hedges - the Right angles of bushy shrubbery that at one time seemed to dominate neighborhood landscapes.  Nellie Stevens Holly, Schip Cherry Laurel and Barberry shrubs once outlined our streets and walkways.  Image result for kid pushed into hedges

Where is the Chicago neighborhood Bungalow Bocage?

I remark merely on its absence and wonder how kids can grow up with their heads screwed on straight without having had the experience of being knocked into the hedge on the way to school.

Hedges were magical!  They were castles, forts, Green Walls for Home Run Derby, jungles, zoos, hiding places, bushwhacking opportunities and the leaves could be made into musical instruments.
Image result for pushed in bushesImage result for pushed in bushes
I spent many early mornings pulling myself out hedges on Honore, having taken the inside lane closer to properties and being Maury Lanigan-ed into a Cherry Laurel fencing the sidewalk in front of Al Balauskas's bunglow.  Paper bag covered books torn, folders of sloppy homework em-barbed in the sharp branches and my ego shocked out of existence to delighted howls of my boon buddies - " Walk on the outside, Hickey!" - prepared me for this  Vale of Tears that is our lot.

Each of us would spend time in the bushes.

Each of us, male and female, would learn that life is paved with unexpected checks into the boards.

The hedges helped.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Lynn Sweet Sweet on Bloomberg? Big Beverage and Little Voters Bad.

Image result for Nanny  BloombergImage result for kean gas station chicago

The Cook County pop tax: Conceived Nov. 10, 2016, when Cook County Board members approved the one-cent-per-ounce Sweetened Beverage Tax. Born on Aug. 2, 2017, its effective date. Date of death was decreed by a 15-2 repeal vote on Wednesday. The tax dies at the end of the county fiscal year, midnight on Nov. 30.
Bloomberg is crusading for higher taxes on sugary drinks as a way to reduce the obesity epidemic in this nation, with allies including the American Heart Association, active in the Cook County fight. Lynn Sweet Chicago Sun Times Cheerleader

Lynn Sweet really has a sweet gig.  Hang with the mighty and do their bidding.  Many of us out here in the fly-over land of helots are not so fortunate.

Lynn Sweet lists every government that took Mike Bloomberg's coin to kill Pop USA, as if any of these bought agencies matter to any of us.

Referendums in Oakland and Albany in 2016 approved the beverage tax, aligning these California East Bay cities with Berkeley, with a tax in effect since 2015.
Boulder and Seattle also have sweetened beverage taxes.
In 2017, however, Bloomberg’s team is hitting a rough patch when it comes to beverage taxes. Will the Cook County repeal give the beverage industry anti-tax drive momentum?
It do seem to be the case!

• Michigan state lawmakers took notice of the uproar in Cook County and last week, in a pre-emptive move, sent a bill to the governor to ban local governments from imposing soda taxes.
• On Oct. 4, the St. Helen, Oregon, city council voted down a sugar-sweetened beverage tax.
• On May 2, voters in Santa Fe, New Mexico, defeated a proposed 2-cents-per-ounce tax on sodas.
• Last spring, West Virginia state lawmakers dropped a beverage tax proposal.
Yeah, that Oakland CA is one head's up burg, Lynn, and Berkeley sends me too.

Not a bit. Not a sugary bit.

Try running a family owned gas station in Morgan Park, like Kean, and then have something like the Glorious Sugar Tax imposed upon your filling station, that also depends upon a steady flow of customers who not only gas up, but purchase pop, sweetened tea, Slurpees and sports drinks, as well.

A small fortune in revenue was lost over the past months thanks to a social engineering scam dressed up as a health issue to shore up political budgetary screw-ups.

Fat kids were not responsible for Cook County spending sprees:

. . . Preckwinkle sweetened the deal by giving each commissioner control over $500,000 in gas tax revenue to spend on transportation projects in their districts. She also rallied public health advocates to point out that downing fewer Mountain Dews could lead to a drop in obesity and diabetes.
Commissioners deadlocked, and Preckwinkle cast a rare, tie-breaking vote to impose the tax. If it hadn't gone as smoothly as Preckwinkle hoped, at least the new tax had passed, the budget was balanced and the heat was mostly on her.
Then it all started to unravel.
While the vote was taken in November 2016, providing plenty of distance from the March 2018 primary election, the tax wasn't scheduled to take effect until July 1.
The vagaries of federal law, the Illinois Constitution and state statutes meant it took months to come up with the rules of how the tax would be put in place, and changes were still being made late in the game.
For example, county officials at one point planned to tax low-income folks receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, but the state later told them that could not be done.
Not mention a sugary carrot to union County employees"

 However, it's worth noting that Teamsters Local 700 endorsed passage of the penny-an-ounce tax on sweetened beverages, saying at the time that it would "guarantee job security for hundreds of people that work for Cook County." The levy passed with Preckwinkle casting a tie-breaking vote.
It's also pertinent that Local 700 has been one of Preckwinkle's main campaign donors in recent years, with the Local and an affiliated Teamsters group using the same Park Ridge address giving her campaign fund at least $68,000 since 2014.
In the memo, Robinson is trying to build support for ratification and perhaps exaggerates a bit if only to look good.
The proposed pact includes some things taxpayers may like, with wages frozen the first year and then rising 2 percent across-the-the-board in each in the second and third years. "Step," or experience-based raises, also would be frozen for two years, but then be fully implemented.
Like the Proco Joe Chick Fil A Purge, Chicago and Cook County Values are not spun from Marilyn Katz's MK Communications, but born in the neighborhood values forge by faith and family.

Lynn Sweet of the Sun Times,  a very dependable Cook County, City of Chicago and Democratic Party cheerleader makes the argument that the Beverage Tax was merely a victory of Big Soda over Big Nanny Bloomberg. Not so.

People have had enough of this nonsense coming from political and media hacks.

People beefed loudly, because the steady streams of kids from St. Cajetan's, Clissold, Morgan Park and Chicago Ag School, as well as Mount Carmel, St. Rita, Mother McAuley, Brother Rice, Morgan Park Academy, Leo, Marist and legions of tradesmen, teachers, cops, firemen, retirees ad even an Alderman could not buy a bottle of pop, a Slurpee, or an Arizona Iced Tea without hitting a Pay Day Loan Center.

It is nice that some Cook County Commissioners were not totally tone deaf.

What would be nicer is a repeal of Cook County Ofiice Holders universal.


Sunday, October 01, 2017

Things I Never Say Mostly

Image result for 1940s Blowhard

Thanks in advanceAt the end of day, we all irritate others and often without meaning to take offense.  With all due respect, hackneyed and hollow phrasing might be holding us back from better human relations, at this in moment time.

In terms of bugging people with mindlessly empty tag lines and borrowed bon mots we can do better.

It is not always what it is.   Plain English works and say what is in your heart and head.  Political gasbags and celebrities have butchered human contact.

Agreed upon pap is not a a rhetorical feast.

 A simple way to avoid causing eyes to roll, at best,or a cousin to reach for that 32" Louisville slugger that he has soaked in Quaker State 40 Weight, at worst, would be to read some of President Obama's speeches and avoid sounding anything like him  - I mean that foppish corps of milkweeds who penned his utterances.

In Joseph Heller's  masterpiece Catch 22, the Orwellian speech-shadows dimming our light of conversation was halted by the primordial utterances of Major ___de Coverly. This septuagintal Major frightens the hell out of one and all by shear dint of the majesty and bearing of his being.  Major __de Coverly puts an end to the asinine Glorious Loyalty Oath of Captain Black in Chapter 13.

Captain Black, like many high school principals, members of Congress and the 44th President of United States,  believes that he is intelligent, due to his position in a table of organization.  He wants to 'get back at' Major Major Major ( formerly Captain Major Major) for being passed over for promotion and institutes a policy where by no member of the squadron can be fed without having signed the Glorious Loyalty Oath - via executive order/zero tolerance.

Maj. ___ de Coverly ends the Glorious Loyalty by holding his mess try under the nose of a mess hall commissar  and growling " Gimme eat!  . . ."Give Everyone Eat!"

Everyone got eat.

Please, plain speaking, cousins!

I do what I can.  Note that I have never consciously used any of the following:

  • ( any verb transitive) preceding "this Puppy" Start this puppy, ride this puppy, screw this puppy
  • " teaching moment"
  • " opportunity for conversation" People who want an opportunity for conversation never shut up.
  • " let's  dialog"
  • " My policy" - unless referring to life, medical, car and homeowner insurance; other than those, policy is for pussies
  • "that's just sad" - clause used rhetorically by confused, challenged and snotty people, when they have run out of intellectual ammo
  • " Veggies"  - You mean carrots, celery stalks, cucumber slices and midget tomatoes for dip?
  • "Bro, Brah, Dude"
  • Reference to any Body parts in mixed company.  Don't be a dick.
  • " How 'bout them " Bears, SOX, Bulls or even Hawks?
  • " Kicking the can down the road" Which can exactly?  And - why exert yourself?
  • " Right side of history"  Say that and you will be on the wrong side of study of the past.
  • " Do you know who I am?"  - God, I hope not. 
  • "Text me!"
  • "Enough"  is not a feast!
I shall wag my tongue, until the Good Lord yanks it out of my head, and with dutiful and humble attention to my words offend no one. . . .but,  those who need offending. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

N.o F.un L.eague ? - Watch High School Sport

Image result for Providence Catholic football Brother Rice Football

The Autumn wind is a pirate
Blustering in from sea
With a rollicking song he sweeps along
Swaggering boisterously.
His face is weatherbeaten
He wears a hooded sash
With a silver hat about his head
And a bristling black mustache
He growls as he storms the country
A villain big and bold
And the trees all shake and quiver and quake
As he robs them of their gold.
The Autumn wind is a Raider
Pillaging just for fun
He'll knock you 'round and upside down
And laugh when he's conquered and won.  Autumn Wind - Oakland Raiders Hymn by John Facenda

John Facenda was the narrator for the wonderful NFL promotional videos decades ago.  Many of us still cling to the mythopoeic phrasing offered by the poetic Mr. Facenda as reason to continue watching, following and tolerating the National Football League and the overpaid myrmidons sporting its logo on all over-priced products, posters and on the field.

John Facenda was the poet of the National Football League

The NFL is now a robot on FOX Sports - fitting and proper.Image result for fox nfl robot

Knots of players have consulted with their agents and PR flaks and decided to sit during the National Anthem, a s means of insulting police, denouncing racism, genocide, sexism. date-rape, drug abuse, sugary beverages and Donald Trump.

I'm fine with that.

I'm tired of the hypocrisy.

Yesterday, and the day before, I had the pleasure of watching sport live at Providence Catholic High School for the freshman football squads and the sophomore/varsity battles on the grid-iron at Brother Rice High School.

All three games were exciting, inspiring and satisfying.  I can not say the same about my Bears, my Packers, my Colts, my Falcons, my Redskins, or my Cowboys - live or on television.

Yesterday morning , in New Lennox, home of Providence Catholic Celtics (btw - no soft C in the Keltic language), the temperature was 94 degrees at 9:30 A.M.  and combat between the respective 40 and 20 yard lines was even more intense.

Celtic quarter Ryan O'Neill # 16 was sensational.  I have never witnessed a QB with such speed, accuracy and poise and I have witnessed Bishop Mac's Kelly O'Connor and Leo High School Amir Holmes.

Brother Rice Crusader quarterback Ben Somers has wowed me for the past five weeks, but this kid
is amazing!  All of the freshmen play with heart and are well coached and highly disciplined.  The Celtics had Ryan O'Neill *and put an end to dreams of an undefeated season. 4-1 is something to be proud of gents!

The defensive squads on both teams were as tight and courageous as any infantry square facing Murat's dragoons and lancers at Waterloo - an homage to Facenda.

Were he still with us, the late John Facenda would fix his eyes on the genuine athletes and avert his gaze from the preeningly artificial thugs dominating professional sport.

Nothing heroic going on in the NFL, NBA, MLB.  Just pirates.

* Ryan O'Neill: Providence Catholic High School - New Lennox, Illinois
Jersey #: 16
Positions: QB, SS
Height & Weight: 5'9" 151lbs
Class of: 2021


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Saloon Dominos in the 19th Ward

Image result for closed saloon
Ubi Sunt?  

The old watering holes of yore are going the way the way of the buffalo, two-tone wing tips, wing tips and 8-tracks.  Every time I read the news another hoary saloon with deep roots in my neighborthood's history is either closed, closing, or up for sale.  

A micro-brewery opened and Jack Kelly's cardioversion of the fabled Dubliner Pub are oddities among the closings and sales of saloons, pubs and taverns in the 19th Ward.  

The passing of the other joints into history's mist is sad, but not mysterious.  The bar business is tough in the best of times, but in an age that scorns the morning cocktail and salon as deplorable uses of time and money it is not surprising.

Working men and retirees often would gather in the mornings and early afternoons for a cold one and to catch up on community chatter.  This phenomenon has died out, due in no small part to the dangers of driving to a watering and hole and making one's way home.  Also, the stigma of meeting up for a pint before the sun's shadow went past yard arm brands a tippler as pathological boozer.  As such, bars open later and close earlier than did in days gone bye.  Tough to build a decent night deposit on that. 

Anyway, saloons are closing all over the Ward.

Maybe that is a good thing.    Maybe not.

* editorial ht/to Jack Kelly!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A$$holes are as American as Baseball and Witch Burning, Denouncing People and Whining!

The banner is displayed at Fenway Park during the MLB game between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland A’s.

Activists, a synonym for a$$holes, unfurl a banner at a recent Boston Red Sox Game. Why did these White Supremacists not allow even one person of color into their fine  moment?

Dogmatic Dicky Durbin Does Doctrine Duty - Abortion Doctrine

Image result for Dick  Durbin - Dogmatic Demagogue

  • Dogma - “a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church.” 
  • U.S. Constitution - “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Officer or public Trust under the United States.” Article VI
  • Dick Durbin - “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?”
  • Cecile Richards - Planned Parenthood Harpy - “In times like these, you can’t underestimate the importance of leadership.  Planned Parenthood thanks Senator Durbin for fighting for a woman’s access to essential health care no matter where she lives,”
Senator Dick Durbin is nothing if not a clown; an oafish clown at that.

Even the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board of Bruce Dold has been forced to offer a very grudging and tepid criticism of Senator Dick Durbin's oafish treatment of a candidate for the Federal Bench.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told Barrett that “the dogma lives loudly within you” and worried that it might take priority over the impartial administration of justice. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois asked, “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?”

It may seem out of bounds for senators to raise the matter of how a judge’s Catholic faith would affect her decisions. But the senators didn’t raise it; Barrett did, in a 1998 law review article examining the obligations of Catholic judges in death penalty cases. It concluded that judges faithful to church teachings “are morally precluded from enforcing the death penalty.. . . Given that Barrett said judges shouldn’t let religious faith dictate their decisions, the exact content of her Catholicism, which Durbin wondered about, is irrelevant. He and Feinstein also erred by putting the issue in terms that could easily be interpreted to mean they distrust devout Catholics. That gave Barrett’s supporters room to accuse them of indulging bigotry and imposing a religious test for office.
It’s an implausible charge on its face. Both voted to confirm John Roberts and Sonia Sotomayor, who are Catholics. So, by the way, is Durbin, and Feinstein graduated from a Catholic high school.”

Without offering the slightest suggestion of Progressive Secularist Orthodoxy within the twin Senators' Inquisition, the Chicago Tribune  failed to call-out real bigotry. Feinstein and Durbin 'tested's.Barrett's faith in order to block her appointment to the Federal Bench.
Image result for Duick Dogma Durbin
The official religion of the Democratic Party and a very husky hunk of the GOP is Progressive Secularism and worship at the altars of Diversity, Mother Earth, Abortion, Globalism and Oligarchy is all but legislated.

Chicago Tribune columnist and political Latitudinarian John Kass, honestly reported and commented on the oafish and obvious dogmatism of politicians in the pay of Planned Parenthood. This writing savaged the bumptious Durbin.

Bruce Dold seemed compelled to toss out some dish water prose to wash away the blood on Durbin's face.

Durbin went all witch-hunt on Ms. Barrett, in order to show fealty to Planned Parenthood's blood money.

Arthur Miller would have shivered the timbers of the Commonwealth were he alive to pen a new Crucible.

You see, Durbin, is a renegade.  He took the coin of the industry most out of orbit of the Roman Catholic Church - the Abortion Industry.  He not only took the coin but used the office of United States Senator to further its power and influence.

The Catholic Ordinary of the Diocese of Springfield, Bishop Thomas Paprocki noted this in 2014 -

“Senator Durbin was informed several years ago by his pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish here in Springfield that he was not permitted to receive Holy Communion per canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law,” Bishop Paprocki reportedly wrote in response to a pro-life activist's query, the Illinois Review reported. “My predecessor upheld that decision and it remains in effect. It is my understanding that the senator is complying with that decision here in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois.”
Canon 915 states that those who have been "obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion."
No taking of the Eucharist for Durbin in his home diocese, but I am certain he will be admitted to the rail at Holy Name Cathedral, where Pastor Pfleger-approved Cardinal Cupich welcomes political powerhouses.  Take that like  doctrine, brothers and sisters, because Cardinal Blase Cupich will offer no criticism of Durbin, Emmanuel, Preckwinkle, Pfleger or Duckworth.  He will offer no reminders to his media friends, Michael Sneed, Carol Marin, Mary Schmich, or Rex Hupke that the media must afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.

Cardinal Cupich wants to be loved, by the powerful and their stooges - he is. He banned guns from Catholic Churches.  This Sunday I will leave my 9mm on the kitchen counter where it belongs, Priase Jesus!
The Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Catholic Church and a prominent activist against gun rights, said after surveying clergy, the late Cardinal Francis George chose to leave it up to priests to ban firearms from individual parishes. On Tuesday, Pfleger praised Cupich's decree.
"There has been this kind of madness, in my mind, a growing obsession that guns are needed to be safe," he said, adding, "With that reality growing day by day, it is a tremendous statement for the cardinal to say for the church, we are not buying into this madness. In our buildings and our properties, we are not going to allow guns."  
Guns kill people, like pencils flunk tests.

Cupich sought and received the imprimatur of Pastor Pfleger and wears it like his pallium.

Even Mary Schmich, aswell as The Seeker Manya Brachear,  says nice things about Cardinal Blase.

Cardinal George afflicted the powerful and comforted the powerless.  Cardinal George acted more than he proclaimed.

Cardinal George did that and the stooge media detested the man.

Durbin is living Progressive Secularist Dogma.

He only turns to the faith of his fathers when he needs a photo op with some Knights of Columbus.Image result

Dogma Dicky Durbin does doctrine.  He is clown, but a very dangerous and powerful clown

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Chance the Rapper Cleaned My Gutters and Made Me Breakfast This Morning!!!!

Image result for Chance the Rapper on the roof

I have been really cynical.  That's harsh.

I read most papers and most Chicago papers offer at least one account of Chance the Rapper

  • Hands out money for arts programs at 20 CPS schools
  • Raises $ 2m for CPS
  • Grand Marshalls the Bud Billiken Parade
  • Grills Chicken at Nando's for charity
  • Explains 'becoming upper-management' to CNBC
  • Announces free concerts ( hourly)
  • Lectures Rahm Emanuel at La Lapalooza
  • Gets Props from Obama as needed
  • Changes the trajectory of North Korean missiles away from Guam, Japan and the Philippines.
  • Swims the English channel
  • Cuts every tree in the Sahara Forest
  • Eats Kyptonite with soy milk
He does these mighty deeds and produces many dope tunes and videos

The guy is prodigious and what do a I do with my life?

Teach.  Go to Mariano's and Brother Rice Freshman football games.

I thought that Chance the Rapper was merely the figment of a public relations man's genius.

Was I wrong. 

This morning I woke to the sound of footsteps on my roof.  No it was not Santa!  It was better.

Chancery Bennett, better known as Chance the Rapper was atop my home in the Morgan Park neighborhood of Chicago, armed with 55 gallon plastic garbage bags and cleaning my gutters of branches, Maple tree whirlybirds, bottle rockets from 4th of July and other air-born gutter chokers.

The young man worked my roof like the crowds at the Apollo in Manchester, UK on November 26, 2016.

I called up to him, " What are you doing up there, young fella?"Image result for Chance the Rapper on the roof

He smiled, " I think it's so dope that I'm here in Chicago and contributing to the music scene that's thriving. People are so happy Chicago's shining that everyone is willing to say 'I represent Chicago.' That wasn't always the case."

" No, I meant specifically, Kid.  Why are you doing my gutters?"  I replied. 

The Rapper shrugged, "Music can kind of make you one-dimensional. People see what's on the surface and what you rap about, and they make their decision on who you are from there." He finished the job, emptied the plastic bags into environmentally friendly brown yard waste bags, placed the black plastic bags in a haversack for re-use, carefully took down the extension ladder and attached it to the frames of his Escalade and asked to use my bathroom.

When Chance the Rapper had given his hands a good scrubbing with Lava - the hand soap - He immediately went to my ice-box and prepared to make me a slap-up breakfast of 

  • Monkey-Bread Danish. Danish meets monkey bread. ...
  • Red Velvet Pancakes. Sexiest breakfast ever. ...
  • Onion & Arugula Frittata. ...
  • Sweet Crepes with Caramelized Pears. ...
  • Candied Bacon. ...
  • Homemade Toaster Pastries. ...
  • Yogurt Biscuits with Honey Butter. ...
  • Green Smoothie with Avocado and Apple.
I asked Chance the Rapper to join me and tuck-into the great feed that he had prepared.

With his thumb he pushed up the flat over-sized brim of his # 3 White Sox cap and with a quizzical smile said, "The whole point of 'Acid Rap' was just to ask people a question: does the music business side of this dictate what type of project this is? If it's all original music and it's got this much emotion around it and it connects this way with this many people, is it a mixtape? What's an 'album' these days, anyways?"

What, indeed?

With that, he vanished between chews.Image result for Chance the Rapper on the roof

Am I cynical?