🛫 Flying first class, up in the sky.

The Daily Reader

Flying to L.A. to visit my family and a very strange thing happened. I got upgraded to first class!

Don’t know why it happened. Not sure what, if anything, I can do to make it happen again.

All I know is I was walking up the aisle, having just crossed the border into the next section, when the flight attendant told me . . .

“Sir, you’ve gone too far. You’re up front.”

And just like that, I was sitting with the special people.

It was a totally radical experience. I’ve never flown first class before. The closest I’ve been to first class is walking through it on my way to the back. Enviously eyeing the people in the leather seats, wondering who they are, and what it would be like to sit among them.

And there I was, kicking back in my comfy cozy leather seat, cocktail in my hand, a real glass, too, not plastic. Got to admit it was very nice not to have some stranger’s elbow in my ear.

But here’s the weird thing . . .

Halfway over the Rockies, soon after the flight attendant gave me the steaming hot cloth with which to wipe my face, I started having strange thoughts, like I was turning into a Republican. Thinking stuff like . . . 

You know, Mayor Rahm really wasn’t all that bad . . .

And . . .

Probably a good idea for him to try to conceal that Laquan McDonald video—what you don’t know won’t hurt you.

And . . .

Closing schools is not so bad. He should have closed more of them.

And . . .  

You keep taxing rich people and they’ll leave the city . . .

And . . . 

You don’t want Chicago to end up like Detroit, do you? 

And . . .

Did I tell you I voted for Barack Obama?

And . . .

Say what you will about privatization, but they really know how to run a parking meter company.

And . . . 

Just rewatched Waiting for Superman, and it really holds up!

And . . .
Maybe those charter schools are on to something when they pay their teachers less.

And . . .

Can we just stop talking about race for five minutes?

And . . .

I’m still a little bummed we didn’t get the Olympics.

And . . .

Just spitballing ideas here, but it might not be a bad idea to bring back the War on Drugs . . .

Thank goodness it was only a four-hour flight. One more hour in that leather seat, and I’d wind up voting for Vallas.

Listen to The Ben Joravsky Show

What Ben's Reading

  Cinema Speculation by Quentin Tarantino. QT goes on and on about his favorite movies from the 70s. Confession: I love it! Warning: only for Tarantino fans.
 Deanna Isaacs on Salvador Dali
 Ben Joravsky on Vallas v. Schmidt

Best of the Ben J. Show

  Alderperson Rossana Rodriguez on the election and runoffs
 Movie man Steve James talks movies and the mayor’s race
 CTU president
Stacy Davis Gates on teachers & politics


The news in Gary
Capital B, a Black news organization, establishes a local newsroom.

by Debbie-Marie Brown | Read here

Sisters in arms
Two siblings in Belfast join the Provisional IRA in Factory’s The Kelly Girls.

by Kerry Reid Read here 

Memory as devotion
Myra Greene’s “Kept” lays bare the mechanisms of visibility.

by Annette LePique | Read here 

Are you ‘In the Loop’? 

On March 30th, we’re launching a bi-monthly newsletter spotlighting the best of Chicago’s performing and visual arts scene!



Issue of
Mar. 9 – Mar. 22, 2023 
Vol. 52, No. 11

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