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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I bare my soul to Jack Silverstein

Posted By on 01.18.12 at 02:00 PM

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  • Cyclonebill/Wikimedia Commons
Just got an e-mail from Jack Silverstein, featuring a link to an interview he did with me a few months back.

Jack's a young writer who's making quite a name for himself as an oral historian. He's really good at getting people to open up. You might say he's the next Studs Terkel. Except there can only be one Studs Terkel.

So let's just say he's the next Jack Silverstein. Actually, he is Jack Silverstein. On second thought, let's just forget the whole analogy thing.

Jack's been working his way through the Reader. His first interview was with my man, Mick Dumke. Got Mick to talk about his days as an exotic dancer at a male strip club.

Oh, wait, I used that joke already. My bad.

Anyway, here's the inside scoop on my interview with Jack.

He grabbed me as I was leaving my house. Drove me to a Starbucks and poured hot chocolate down my throat.
I love hot chocolate.

Then he got me talking about Mike Royko. I love Mike Royko even more than I love hot chocolate. Got a whole bunch of his books on my shelf. Excuse me while I reread his column about Frank Sinatra.

Then he gave me this itty-bitty recorder that I could hold in my hand. I really enjoyed talking into that recorder. Thought I was Fred MacMurray in Double Indemnity—great flick, by the way. You know, the part where Fred's confessing into the office dictaphone: "Yes, I killed him. I killed him for money and for a woman. I didn't get the money and I didn't get the woman. Pretty, isn't it?"

Sorry, got carried away.

Between the hot chocolate, Royko, and that itty-bitty recorder I was putty in Jack's hand. Started talking and couldn't stop. That's just how I roll....

Now Jack's bugging me to tweet about the interview. Everyone's bugging me to tweet about something. A day doesn't pass without someone—generally, Tal Rosenberg—saying: "Yo', Ben, start tweeting!"

Of course, as you may recall, the last time I listened to Tal on this whole tweeting thing it didn't turn out quite like we planned. Although I think everyone will agree that it was immensely satisfying to tell Frank Sennett to go fuck himself....

Speaking of nasty things that I have said....

I'd like to apologize for the part in Jack's interview where I say all those mean, nasty things about Mayor Emanuel.

Actually, I didn't really say anything particularly mean nor nasty about Mayor Emanuel. Just thought that if I apologized to the mayor, I could get you to read the interview.

Or at least tweet about it.

I did, on the other hand, say all sorts of mean, nasty things about my fellow Chicagoans. Ignorant and clueless is what I believe I called you.

Sorry, people. Feel really bad about that. Don't know what got into me. Must have something to do with you electing Mayor Daley six times in a row! Or helping elect and then reelect Blago. Or electing Mayor Rahm. Or....

Wait! Wasn't this supposed to be an apology?

Here's a good idea.....

After you read Jack's interview, go read some Royko. You can find him in your local public library.

Better get there quick—before Mayor Rahm shuts them all down....

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