Right Opinion

Robert DeNiro Speaks His Mind

Burt Prelutsky · Jun. 23, 2018

To say that an actor spoke his mind at an awards ceremony is not to be confused with a compliment. Speaking one’s mind is only a good thing if one’s mind is in good working order. Clearly, standing up before an audience of one’s mindless peers at the Tony’s Award Show and receiving a standing ovation for saying “F—k Trump!” on live TV is an act of intellectual desperation.

As I see it, when over-the-hill actresses finally recognize that their days as Hollywood sex goddesses are over, they generally write or, rather, put their names on ghost-written books ratting out all the celebrities with whom they’ve ever had sex. It serves as a reminder of the fact that once upon a time they were physically alluring.

On the other hand, when actors finally get around to realizing that their days as bankable movie stars have come and gone, they stand on stage in front of an audience filled with the sexually bewildered and voice an obscenity, knowing that the simpletons will reward him with the last ovation he is ever likely to receive, unless, of course, the Motion Picture Academy decides at some later date to roll him out for one of those honorary Oscars it loves to bestow on those whose next stop is Forest Lawn.


Sometimes even I get tired of pointing out the double standard of left-wingers, but how can I resist when they predictably denounced Trump prior to the Singapore summit, during the summit and after the summit, completing the trifecta of hypocrisy?

Imagine the media coverage, on the other hand, if it had been Barack Obama.

They would have begun by demanding that he be given a second Nobel Peace Prize for bringing about the release of three American hostages without having to pay a ransom or fire a shot. Then they would have declared him a political wizard for bringing Kim Jong-un to the negotiating table, hailing Obama for being the first president with the courage to personally engage with a leader of the Hermit Kingdom. And finally, they would have complimented him for representing America with dignity and humility, for never once feeling the need to remind the North Korean despot to his face that if he doesn’t shape up and fly right, we could crush him and his regime like a bug.


On the other hand, am I the only person who thinks Rudy Giuliani has a screw loose? Understand, I had always liked and admired the guy, and had even campaigned in my own small way for him to replace Jeff Sessions as the attorney general.

Perhaps it’s nothing worse than a mild case of Potomac fever. It’s possible that being hired to be President Trump’s attorney was all it took to give the man delusions of grandeur. How else to explain his going on Sunday news shows prior to Trump’s meet-and-greet with Kim Jong-un to claim that the North Korean dictator had come to the negotiating table “crawling on his hands and knees.”

Even Donald Trump, who’s been known to take a cheap shot at a political opponent — as have I, God knows — saw no reason to humiliate Kim once he agreed to the summit.

I would hate to think that Giuliani could prove to be a greater liability to President Trump than Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Jeff Sessions, Jeff Flake, Adam Schiff and Christopher Wray, but that could be the case unless he learns to keep his big fat yap shut.


Thinking about the Obama-led #Resistance movement led me to the fairly obvious conclusion that liberals only resort to voicing their hatred of Donald Trump as a fallback position because even they aren’t stupid enough to openly admit that they hate America.


Speaking of which, Canada’s Justin Trudeau, who always looks like he’d be more at home on a fashion runway than at a conference of world leaders, is way out of his weight division when he tries to pick a fight with President Trump. Although Canada looks to be the equal of the United States on a map, it is home to only 36 million people, which is fewer than we have here in California. To be fair, however, were it not for illegal aliens, we might have fewer than North Dakota.


Barack Obama has met with several would-be Trump challengers at his home in Washington. Among those seeking his benediction have been Bernie Sanders; Joe Biden; Eric Holder; former Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick; New Orleans mayor, Mitch Landrieu; South Bend, Indiana, mayor, Pete Buttigieg; L.A. mayor, Gil Garcetti; Missouri’s former secretary of state, Jason Kander; New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; and twice with Elizabeth Warren, who probably pretended to leave her Indian headdress behind.

So far, Senators Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand and Virginia’s ex-governor, Terry McAuliffe, haven’t yet dropped by to kiss Obama’s …. uh, ring.


I suppose radio’s conservative talk-show hosts can’t resist the extra money, but surely they must be at least slightly aware of the fact that they lose a lot of their credibility when they turn on a dime from lambasting Washington’s swamp creatures to crooning the praises of pain pills, chairs and pillows, like so many carnival pitchmen selling magic elixirs.

It seems to me that if they’re going to recommend things to their listeners, the reason shouldn’t be that they’re being paid to do so.


I have sometimes pondered how movies ever get cast. I mean, between the endless cycle of affairs and serial marriages, there are so many actors and actresses who refuse to even be in the same room with each other, I can only marvel at the fact that someone in Hollywood must be keeping track for the sake of casting directors.

I recall once being at a party and standing next to Janet Leigh when a friend told her that Tony was in the next room. Apparently, the friend noticed, as I had, that the blood had immediately drained from her face and quickly reassured Ms. Leigh that it was her “Psycho” co-star Tony Perkins and not her ex-husband, Tony Curtis.


Which reminds me that I have always wondered how certain Hollywood couples come to be married to each other. How, for instance, did Ernie Borgnine go from a three-year marriage to Katy Jurado to pushing his luck by hitching up to Ethel Merman, a marriage that didn’t even survive the honeymoon in Hawaii, allegedly because Ms. Merman became upset when so many more fans recognized the star of TV’s “McHale’s Navy” than the star of Broadway’s “Call Me Madam”?

I would have liked to meet Kay Marvis, a small-time actress, who went from being married to Leo Gorcey, the shortest and most pugnacious of the “Dead End Kids,” to the erudite Groucho Marx.

I would also have wanted to meet Carol Marcus — who went from being married on two separate occasions to writer/compulsive gambler William Saroyan to marrying actor/compulsive gambler Walter Matthau — and ask her to explain herself.

To her credit, Mrs. Matthau did deliver the most scathing indictment of a person I ever heard, and she managed it in just seven words. When asked to sum up Saroyan, the man who rejected the Pulitzer Prize for his play, “The Time of Your Life,” pompously declaring that “commerce had no business judging the arts,” his ex-wife said: “Bill loved mankind, but he hated people.”


I wonder if now that the folks who run the Miss America contest have done away with both the bathing suit and evening gown competitions, Pennsylvania’s next entrant will represent the Amish community.


William Styron once remarked: “A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end, because you have lived several lives while reading it.”

That leads me to recommend the works of the inexhaustible novelist Alexander McCall Smith, a Scotsman who was born and lived for many years in Southern Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe).

He is the emeritus professor of Medical Law and Ethics at the University of Edinburgh, who came to fame as the author of the international best seller, “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency,” and then wrote another 15 in the series.

That would surely be enough for any writer, but Prof. McCall Smith is not any writer. He has also created additional series of books, along with stand-alone novels and even children’s literature.

If McCall Smith were a character in one of his own charming books, he would very likely be an amateur bassoonist. As it happens, he is an amateur bassoonist.

At last count, I have read 36 of his novels (yes, I keep a record) and am midway through number 37.

He may not be to everybody’s taste, but I can’t imagine anyone’s thinking it would be a waste of their time to read his work.

One thing I know for certain is that I’d never believe it if I heard someone claim that the Scottish professor loved mankind but hated people.

Finally, unlike all those materialistic radio talk-show hosts, nobody paid me to promote the great man’s books.

Unfortunately.

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