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Burt Prelutsky / Jan. 25, 2010

From Galileo to Gore

It was almost 400 years ago that Galileo Galilei was denounced as a heretic for proclaiming that the earth revolved around the sun and not the other way around. These days, Al Gore tells giant fibs about the weather in order to line his pockets and inflate his ego and it’s those who call him on it who are accused of heresy. In spite of which, there are people who insist on referring to this as an enlightened age.

But, really, how enlightened can we be when millions of Americans get their news from a media that unlike the media in totalitarian nations happily placed the shackles on themselves and then threw away the key?

On more than one occasion, I’ve confessed that when it comes to books, I prefer reading fiction. Liberals, on the other hand, seem to prefer fiction that passes itself off as fact. On top of that, they seem to get their talking points from the Huffington Post, the Daily Kos and Joy Behar. Is it any wonder that they always sound so crabby, cranky and dumb?

The folks in Washington who are creating the most mischief appear to display all the telltale signs of being a member of a dysfunctional family. Mom and Dad are Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Harry looks like he sucks lemons for a living and Nancy looks like she started hitting the sauce once she paid one too many visits to her plastic surgeon, Dr. Victor Frankenstein.

Their adopted son, Barack, was already a troubled youth – abandoned by his own mother, his father and his step-father – long before he went off to college, where, as he boasts, he smoked a lot of marijuana and sought out companions who were Communists and professors who were left-wing pinheads. After all that, it’s no wonder that he decided to remake America from stem to stern in his own narcissistic, pathological image. Like Ted Bundy and scores of other sociopaths, he can be charming and can even pass for normal. But only for so long.

There was a time in my life, I hate to admit, when I used to read the Guinness Book of World Records. I didn’t read it in order to be impressed by its odd list of human accomplishments, but to be reminded time and again of the foolishness that made up the dreams and aspirations of so many others. Others, I would remind myself, whose votes counted for as much as mine at election time. For instance, a fellow named Richard Walker gained a tawdry bit of fame for having chewed 135 pieces of bubble gum for eight straight hours. Susan Montgomery Williams once managed to blow a 23-inch bubble gum bubble. But that was with her mouth. Joyce Samuels, whom I hope I never have occasion to meet, once blew a 16-inch bubble with her nose.

I’ll leave it to other people to determine which of these is the most impressive feat. But if you’re ready to take up the bubble gum gauntlet, my research suggests that you should add a bit of peanut butter to the mix and to chew the wad for at least three minutes to make certain the sugar dissolves. Sugar, it seems, leads to premature deflation.

But none of the activities of these bubble gum fiends strikes me as being half as inane as what our politicians do on a daily basis. And if the folks at Guinness tried to record it all, their annual edition would be almost as long as Obama’s Health Care bill, and nobody would read that, either.

Watching Senator Mary Landrieu sell her vote for $300 million and Sen. Ben Nelson sell his for a bigger piece of the Medicaid pie reminds me of an old story. It seems a man once asked a strange woman if she’d have sex with him for a million dollars, and she agreed. He then asked her if she’d do it for $20, and with all the outrage she could muster, she said, “What sort of woman do you think I am?!” He replied, “We’ve already established that. Now we’re merely negotiating the price.”

Finally, I’m wondering if Barack Obama fails to see an obvious pattern. He goes to Copenhagen to lock up the Olympics and, instead of bringing home the gold, he only got to bring home Michelle and Oprah. Then he went to Copenhagen a second time in order to stamp out global warming, and wound up getting dissed by Hugo Chavez, who received an ovation from his fellow freeloaders.

So, unless Obama finds himself with a sudden craving for herring, I think he’d be wise to give the town a wide berth in the future. Napoleon had his Waterloo and Obama has his Copenhagen.

It seems like just yesterday that the entire world, and not just the crew at MSNBC, was fawning over Obama. Now, more and more people can’t even stand the sound of his voice. It doesn’t remind me, as it does so many others, of Tiger Woods and his fall from grace. Instead, it reminds me of the fate that befalls most child actors. One day, you’re Macauley Culkin and everyone wants to pinch your cheeks and chuck you under the chin, and the next day people think you’re as cute as gallstones and they’d really appreciate it if you tinkled a little bell and chanted “Unclean…unclean” whenever you left the house.

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