Right Opinion

Models Belong on a Catwalk

Burt Prelutsky · Apr. 4, 2020

I can’t help noticing that the models people keep coming up with these days are all a lot flimsier than those airplanes kids used to put together with balsawood and glue.

First, it was Al Gore and his cronies at the U.N. back in the 1990s who kept referring to models showing that thanks to global warming, the ice caps would start melting, the oceans would soon rise and before you knew it, polar bears would be splashing around in the swimming pools of the rich and famous in Beverly Hills.

The fact that those doomsday predictions didn’t pan out didn’t faze them in the least. They simply keep pushing back the deadline. The last I heard, that eminent climatologist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez insisted the planet would have its last rites read right around 2030.

Now, we’re hearing about a new set of models. These are predicting that upwards of a million Americans will die of the Chinese virus within the next couple of months.

There have even been models suggesting that 60 million people worldwide will come down with the virus. In Britain, the doomsayers were predicting 500,000 fatalities. Then, almost overnight, it became 20,000.

Thank heavens we have people like Dr. Deborah Brix on Trump’s task force, someone who can speak authoritatively, but reasonably, about the actual risk.

On the other hand, there are noodleheads like New York’s Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Oxiris Barbot, reporting even after the outbreak in the U.S. became noticeable, that the danger was negligible. She told New Yorkers that the risk was low and the preparedness high, and that “There is no reason not to take the subway, take the bus, go to restaurants or cancel the Chinatown parade.”

And anyone who thinks there’s the slightest chance that Mayor Bill de Blasio will fire the Puerto Rican nincompoop simply doesn’t know Mayor de Blasio or how many Puerto Rican voters there are in the five boroughs.

Before moving on, I am hung up on Commissioner Barbot’s title. What the heck is Mental Hygiene? No more dirty thoughts? In the worse cases, is brainwashing called for?

On March 2nd, Mayor de Blasio was urging New Yorkers to leave their homes and go to the movies. I mean, it’s one thing for me to see the silver lining in thinning the herd of New York liberals, but quite another for left-wing politicians to advise their base to go out and mingle.

As late as March 11th, the Mayor was telling everyone to go out and party. But a few days later, he was on “Meet the Press” blasting President Trump for bringing on the pandemic.


I’m sure I’m not the only person who believes that Nancy Pelosi should be indicted, found guilty and sent to prison for extortion.

First, the House Speaker held up the Articles of Impeachment for weeks while trying to force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to abide by her personal rules. More recently, while simultaneously insisting that Congress had to provide immediate financial assistance to individuals and businesses, she stalled for days while she and her cronies tried to load down the bill with everything from $250,000 for the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts to another $250,000,000 for Planned Parenthood.

To sum up, she’s the bottleneck, Adam Schiff is the pencil neck and Chuck Schumer is the horse’s neck.


I believe full credit for the coronavirus belongs to China but considering that the worst outbreaks have occurred in Iran, California, Washington and New York, I see the hand of God moving it around where it will do the most good.


Until Patrick Miano mentioned growing up in an Italian household where the good furniture sat in the little-used living room covered in plastic awaiting visits in his home by the Pope, I had forgotten that we had the same plastic wrapping in our Jewish household. I’m not sure who my parents were expecting. Perhaps F.D.R. In any case, what I remember best about it on those few occasions I got to sit on the sofa or one of the two fancy chairs was that if you changed your position, the crackling plastic made it sound like you were in the middle of a forest fire.

Looking back, I sort of wish that President Roosevelt had stopped by so that the first time he resettled his butt, I could have called out: “Liar, liar, pants on fire!”


Dan Parker passed along an all-text meme. It read: “Due to the corona virus, the polls will remain closed and the presidential election is cancelled. Trump will remain president for the next four years.—Watch how quickly the epidemic will end.”


A meme that arrives courtesy of Penny Alfonso shows a picture of Chicago’s biggest hoaxer and a caption that reads: “Breaking News: Jussie Smollett Claims Two Chinese Men Wearing MAGA Hats Coughed on Him.”


Years ago, I heard a fable. It seems a man had a curse placed on him. And while I don’t recall all the details, he was given the following choice: He would be married to a woman who would spend 12 hours a day being gorgeous and the other 12 hours looking like a witch, complete with a huge hooked nose and multiple facial moles.

His choice was whether everybody would think he was married to someone who looked beautiful and highly desirable but was hideously ugly when they were alone; or the reverse.

I always thought it presented an interesting quandary, indicating how important the opinion of other people was to us. I’m also curious if the decisions of men would differ greatly from those of women.

If any of you would care to weigh in, I’d be interested in your response. Let me know at ([email protected])


In my poll asking you to name the actor who best represents “cool” to you, 50 votes were cast and 31 individuals were named. Although I had men, particularly actors, in mind, since they seem to define that certain almost indefinable quality for most people, one World War II British ace, one American astronaut, two actresses and one columnist, also received votes.

Those who were named once were Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Steve McQueen, James Garner, Dick Powell, Ricardo Montalban, James Spader, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Eli Wallach, James Arness, Pierce Brosnan, Alan Ladd, James Dean, Richard Conte, Dean Martin, Lee Marvin, Douglas Bader, Neil Armstrong, Jodie Foster and Betty White.

Those who collected two votes were James Coburn, Tom Selleck, Richard Boone, Paul Newman and Humphrey Bogart.

The quartet who received three votes were Sean Connery, John Wayne, Cary Grant and Charles Bronson.

The top vote-getter with six was Clint Eastwood, in spite of his having come out in support of Michael Bloomberg.

Although I only asked for votes, a few people did enclose comments. One respondent pointed out that most of the examples I cited were either dead or very old and wondered if there weren’t any contemporary actors I regarded as cool.

I pointed out that I don’t go to movies very often these days, but I figured that of those I was aware of, Ryan Reynolds and Bradley Cooper probably came closest.

I actually thought Kevin Spacey was pretty cool even though I knew he was gay even before he got caught up in the #MeToo scandal. I also came up with Bruce Willis, who must be nearly as old as I am by now, and Alan Rickman. Unfortunately, he’s dead, meaning he’s gone from cool to cold.

Mary Deininger related an incident when she encountered her own choice, John Wayne.

She and her four year old daughter were in an elevator when Wayne entered and smiled. “I introduced my daughter, but, as kids will, she ducked behind me. I explained to Mr. Wayne that she was shy. And he said, ‘Let her be shy. None of that women’s lib stuff!’

"We were living down in Newport Beach and he was always very approachable. He would play chess with the children at the tennis club and he would even shop for shoes for his youngest at Sear’s.”

When one of my respondents let me know in capital letters that he was voting for James Dean – NOT Jimmy Dean!“ I naturally replied: "Meaning you don’t like those little sausage links as much as you do a great big ham.”

Modesty would demand that I not mention the two votes I received, which you will notice means I received twice as many as Steve McQueen, Lee Marvin, James Garner and Betty White. But, modesty be damned! I know you all expect nothing but the truth from me.

I will acknowledge it’s possible that Ralph Barnett and Hazel Loosli were just trying to butter me up and don’t really think I’m as cool as Humphrey Bogart. Be that as it may, let me announce here and now that Ralph and Hazel will not be required to pay full price for their subscriptions when September rolls around.

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