Friday, August 23, 2013


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by Burt Prelutsky

From 1928 through 1945, “Quick, Henry, the Flit!” was the tagline in ads for a popular insecticide. Interestingly, Theodor Geisel did the original artwork, which typically showed people being menaced by large whimsical-looking critters. Mr. Geisel went on to graduate from a make-believe medical school and become better known as Dr. Seuss.

I swear, every time I see a politician on TV, especially one who insists on calling himself a public servant, I find myself reaching for the Flit. What a bunch of mealy-mouthed, money-grubbing, hypocrites! Apparently doing nothing but posturing and posing for TV cameras takes so much out of these phonies that, come August, they’d have you believe that their very survival calls for a five week vacation we have to pay for.

They remind me of an old Spanish proverb: How beautiful it is to do nothing and then rest afterward.

Speaking of politicians with far too much time on their hands, Illinois State Rep. Monique Davis claims that many of her constituents don’t believe their thuggish sons are killing one another, and that the vile deeds are being committed by the cops in Chicago. When asked if she personally believed it, she said, “I don’t know that they are and I don’t know that they aren’t.”

When the office holders are as dumb and as bigoted as the dumbest bigots who elected them, you know a city is in deep doo-doo. It’s no wonder that the city of broad shoulders and a very teeny brain provided such a terrific springboard for Barack Obama. It also helps to explain why the likes of Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan call it home, and why Farrakhan endorsed Rep. Davis and why she still attends the Trinity United Church.

Still, I know how Rep. Davis can figure out how she really feels about all those murders. The next time, she feels herself threatened, she can let us know if she calls for a cop or a Crip.

When I recently posted the list of my all-time favorite movies, a couple of readers asked me about my favorite TV shows. Because there have been so few, it hardly calls for a separate list. My favorite comedies were “The Sid Caesar Show,” “You’ll Never Get Rich” (aka “Sgt. Bilko”), “Frasier,” “Barney Miller,” “Everyone Loves Raymond” and a couple of English ones: “Blackadder” and “No, Honestly.”

My favorite dramatic series were “Route 66,” “Naked City” and “Law & Order.” My favorite mini-series was the English version of “House of Cards.” My favorite variety show was “The Carol Burnett Show.” My favorite anthologies were “Playhouse 90,” “Studio One,” and “The Dick Powell Theater.” My favorite late night host was Jack Paar, closely followed by Steve Allen.

Full disclosure requires I confess I never watched “Dallas,” “Dynasty,” “Peyton Place” or “Knott’s Landing.” I also have never tuned in to those so-called survival shows that pit people against one another on desert islands or any of the reincarnated versions of the old “Amateur Hour” that showcase singers, dancers and, for all I know, jugglers, unicyclists and yodelers.

A lot of conservatives will tell you that Hollywood has never been worse. But I can assure you that the blacklisting of right-wingers is nothing new. It took place in the 30s and 40s, but people only got wind of the practice when the Communist scare was on during the Cold War, and for the first time it was leftists who were being targeted.

Kyle Smith, writing in the NY Post, claims that in the 1930s, Germany was the biggest market for Hollywood product outside the U.S. As a result, they were able to order a recut version of “All Quiet on the Western Front,” that made German soldiers appear more heroic during WWI.

Recognizing the power they had, even with studios run mostly by Jews, German movie czar George Gyssling paid a personal call on Hollywood and threatened the studio bosses with Article 15, which stated that if a U.S. film was released anywhere in the world that offended Germany, Germany would ban all movies from that studio. So it was that when Herman Mankiewicz proposed a movie project called “The Mad Dog of Europe” to be made independently, Gyssling vowed Germany would ban all U.S. films in retaliation. Between them, Will Hayes, Hollywood’s hand-picked censor, and Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM, saw to it that the project never got off the ground. In fact, it wasn’t until 1939 that Hollywood finally got around to making its first anti-Nazi movie.

Mr. Smith goes on to mention that although the original “Iron Man” only scored $15 million in China five years ago, “Iron Man 3” took in over $120 million. Part of the reason is that the producers added scenes in the exported version that featured a heroic Chinese character.

In other words, don’t expect all those Hollywood liberals, who can always be counted on to donate millions to any politician who peppers his speeches with heart-felt concerns about global-warming and the environment, to ever take China to task.

So, while James Bond may yet be called upon to dispatch a greedy super villain who’s trying to cover the planet in toxic smog for his own nefarious reasons, you can bet his name won’t be Mr. Wong.

Finally, I understand that Major Nidal Hasan wanted to plead guilty to several counts of murder and attempted murder, but was stymied by mind-boggling military rules that prevent defendants from entering guilty pleas in death-penalty cases.

And here I thought Hasan was crazy!

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?

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