Are you ready for this? There’s the Mob…New York Mob…Vegas Mob…and now Chicago Mob Wives coming to TV. I kid you not. Five hot-looking babes who have the dubious distinction of being related to local mobsters. As it turns out, I once wrote an “authorized biography” for one the Wise Guys, because his grand-daughter wanted his reputation “salvaged.” I’m not going to mention his name, because her family killed the deal. Which frankly was better for me than killing the intended author.
I bring this up to make a point. The press always labels the Wise Guys. The Don. the Nose. the Fist. the Barber. Exactly the way they do politicians. And we, the dumbed-down citizenry, accept the labels as the man. This is crazy!
Washington was not the kid with the cherry tree…Lincoln was more than a rail-splitter…Teddy was not simply a Rough Rider…FDR’s jaunty cigarette-holder did not really capture his persona [ this on the authority of his Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes’s own grandson here in Chicago ].
So why do we continue this habit of cariciaturizing complex subjects? Simple. It makes complexity simple. Romney does not equal Capitalism. Santorum does not equal Medievalism. Obama does not equal…well, any one of the dozen labels slapped on his resume by his detractors. Anymore than my deceased mobster was “just a sweet grandfather to me and my kids” as my anonymous benefactor wanted his posthumous label to read.
Although I have to say, my first draft would have made intriguing reading for some Chicago locals.
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