Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thoughts While Shaving: Sheila Simon—Just What Quinn Needs, Bespectacled Banjo-Playing Tax Hiker…Channel 2 Fires Ann State: Big Mistake.

   Tuesday in Holy Week*
                              Another Divorced Jewish Balloonist?   
         In February, 1975 the Republican party of Chicago decided to go after Boss Daley by running a divorced Jewish balloonist, Richard Friedman.  Splendid choice.  See, they thought they would cut into the old man’s totals. Friedman, 41, was an ex-Democrat, head of The Better Government Association…and for a touch of glamour he was dating Jori Luloff , the first woman TV news anchor in town.  Didn’t work.  
        Now Pat Quinn the Pander Bear who is down in the polls under a state senator Illinois doesn’t know much about, has decided to add a touch of glamour to the ticket: Sheila Simon of Carbondale, the late Paul Simon’s bespectacled, banjo-playing lawyer, who plays in an eclectic blues and boogie band known asLoose Gravel where she not only strums the instrument but plays the bassoon and also sings vocals.  Add to these credentials the fact that Sheila Simon is enthusiastically in favor of the same 33% income tax hike that Pander Bear favors…she being picked second after the first choice, State Sen. Susan Garrett of Lake Forest said she didn’t favor a tax hike until and unless Pander Bear cut more off the budget. 
         That decided it for Quinn so he picked Sheila Simon who said right off that she wants a 33% tax hike.  
         Sheila had an earlier stint in politics, thrust ahead by the power of her family name, when she tried to get elected mayor of Carbondale located at the junction of Rt. 13 and U. S. Route 51 population 25,597 (2000 census) located 96 miles northeast of St. Louis on the edge of the Shawnee National Forest.  Well she lost—to Republican Brad Cole who was a top assistant to Gov. George Ryan who is now in jail for corruption.  Cole made the news locally when he announced in 2007 that at the age of 35 he had made a resolution to get married that year.  No one was interested enough to see if he did get married and I meant to look it up before I wrote this…but I forgot.  
         Now, running for Lt. Governor, Sheila Simon may tie the town’s most famous resident.  That would be, of course, Agnes Ayres Henkel who for publicity purposes took the name of plain, simple and unforgettable Agnes Ayres. She was picked as an extra for a movie by the powerful film producer Jesse Lasky who took a shine to her. He cast her opposite Rudolph Valentino in the blockbuster film of 1921 The Sheik.  She also made The 10 Commandmentswith Cecil B. DeMille but that was all.  Jesse Lasky got tired of her and she went on the vaudeville stage and later to a mental institution where she died of a stroke at the age of 42.  
         If that is all the excitement you can take about the 2010 Democratic state ticket, I’ll close now but will keep you informed later—if I remember to do so.   
                      Channel 2: STOP!  Big Mistake Firing Ann State! 
          If those at Channel 2 CBS Chicago haven’t cut the severance papers for their TV anchor Ann State, I would plead, indeed implore, them to give this act another think-through.  They say they were firing her because she doesn’t exhibit enough familiarity with Chicago.   
            Now Channel 2 is my favorite station of all and I urge themindeed I entreat, abjure, beseech, importune them not to do so. I have seen all news anchors here since Clifton Utley, Austin Kiplinger,  Fahey Flynn and Jorie Luloff and Ann State is indubitably the best.  At least the equal of Rob Johnson of whom I am also very fond.   No I don’t know her but I’ve now gotten into the habit of tuning her in for the news…and I have found her with a twinkling civility, a wit, a lively understated irreverence that I find fascinating. In her own way she is Reaganesque.  You know how Reagan used to smile with his eyes?  That’s what she does.   
            What’s the matter with you people at 2—are you dumb?  Listen, that answer that she doesn’t know Chicago is bogus. I have never seen her at wit’s end of  Chicago knowledge. In fact I assumed she was born and reared here.   
           Whoever made that decision is the one who should be fired! Here I was spinning the dial futilely to catch Ann State when my wife showed me the story that she is to be fired.  Let this be a consumer survey of ONE! It’s a big-big error, executives!  Don’t you understand what you have in Ann State? Someone who gives this city an air of Irish sophistication, the aura that Spinoza meant when he defined “a cause of itself” as “that whose essence involves existence cannot be conceived unless existing.”  
         In short something which was meant by Aquinas when he said a person has “an ens realissimum possessing the attribute of absolute necessity.” 
         Nor am I being ironic, sarcastic or fey.  Listen to me: Reconsider!  Don’t fire Ann State!           
           *: Tuesday in Holy Week. The reading is St. Paul to the Hebrews [12:1-13].  His words are simply these: We must continue the fight.  We must not give up hope. A man after Mass at St. John Cantius came to me and said “I read you in The Wanderer because you give me hope?  But I must ask you—is there anything to hope for with the country now in the grip of the liberals?”  
          The answer: Of course!  Don’t think me perverse but Obama makes me wake up every morning with clenched fists. I am thoroughly eager to advance victory in 2010 and eager…brimming with fight…to live to 2012.  Even when we undergo trials, we should take comfort in Christ’s example.  Let’s go on and cheerfully endure these trials preparing to rise to a new life with Christ on Easter…and beyond.


  1. I, too, have thought of wonderful ideas while shaving. Wet shaving gives me more time to unwind and feel good about myself.

  2. I agree 100% on your thoughts about Anne State. She is the best thing that has hit Chicago news TV in a long time. Management at CBS2 fired their crown jewel. The general manager and news director at CBS2 are the ones that should be fired.
    Long time Chicagoan