Everything rated

Chicago Magazine has come out with its doctors issue. Best of. I suppose there were the 10 best and 100 best and 5 cheapest before the advent of the city magazine, but it doesn't seem so. My surgeon, whom I like very much, was named, as was my erstwhile stolid oncologist. I don't know the criteria. I don't know if the judging is fair or if it could be fair. There are cafes and restaurants that are named the favorites by customers, who vote. Aren't all the invisible ballot boxes stuffed by management? I've never seen American Idol but I know that's voted on by Regular Folks. Phoning in, maybe? Americans clamor to vote on everything and everyone but their government. On that island show people are voted off. The poetry slam has rankings like the Olympics. I was looking up the phone number of the neighborhood post office the other day and Google took me to a site where people rated their post offices. I buy, therefore I rate. Furniture is rated. Professors are rated, books are reviewed and ranked, plays are reviewed, wine is rated, stores are rated, airlines are rated, cars, refrigerators, furniture, toys, dishes, maybe silverware, probably jewelry somewhere, latte makers (people and machines), politicians, probably umbrellas and tea kettles, electronics, vacations, TV shows, hotels, movies, charities, newspapers; dogs have shows. I thinking that I will start rating: sidewalks, trees, street benches. For a start. Which is not the same as naming my favorites. We define ourselves by our favorites. Men can fantasize in more detail if they know what the Playboy centerfold's turn-ons and turn-offs are. We read Dewar's profiles and the American Express celebrity ads and think we that we learn something about the celebrity who's featured. Oh, I like that too. Oh, that person is like me. I'm not alone in the universe. There's a tiny tendril connecting me to --.