Posted by: suek2001 | April 28, 2010

Remembering a genius

A few weeks ago, I received a copy of Up Against It by Mike Royko.

This book has long been out of print but now someone decided to reissue it.

It has been a thrill beyond words to read it again. If you’ve never read Royko, it is hard to describe why he matters. Most people would pigeonhole him as merely a Chicago writer.  He wasn’t. He had a knack for writing brilliantly funny pieces on the human condition. He also wrote poetically sad pieces on love, hate and everything in between.

I first read Mike in high school. The column was called No People Need Apply, a sarcastic piece on landlords wanting to keep tenants from loitering in the lobby. When I read this, I knew this is what I wanted to do.

I never could match his genius or wit but I still love to write because of him. The sad thing is in the 13 years since his death, there’s been no one that can write like him.

The opinion pages are sorely needing Royko now. Most columnists have an agenda before they even put words on a page or a website. Their words are either divisive or dismissive about any issue that doesn’t match their intellect.

Mike Royko could write on Richard Daley, Martin Luther King, hippies and elevator decorum with ease. There is no one like him now.. So go to Amazon or check out your local library to see what we as a nation are truly missing.

Voices of reason and humor are sorely lacking in today’s climate. Royko’s work needs a rebirth so we can remind ourselves how to have a fruitful debate before it’s too late.



  1. Nice to read your description of Dad. And good luck with your writing, Sue!
    Dave Royko
    (One of Mike’s kids)

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