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Burt Prelutsky / November 9, 2020

Stupidity Is Highly Contagious

There are still people who should know better worrying themselves sick over inflated numbers of COVID cases and fatalities.

I wish that it was only Liberals who took the so-called pandemic seriously, but the propaganda has gone on relentlessly for so many months, I have become aware that even Conservatives have begun to swallow the bilge.

Even though most people know that the virus is pretty tame as viruses go, generally only killing off people who are already in seriously bad health, and where pre-existing conditions like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, hepatitis and pneumonia, are doing most of the heavy lifting, there are still people who should know better worrying themselves sick over inflated numbers of cases and fatalities.

Maybe 10 years from now, when someone gets around to writing a serious book about the hysteria, we’ll find out how many more people died because they were afraid to be tested or treated for cancer, heart disease or those other maladies. We might even discover the number of deaths caused through depression and suicide, alcoholism, heroin, fentanyl, as well as spousal and child abuse.

Then there are the millions of Americans who won’t be going back to work because the shutdown has put businesses, both small and large, out of business.

Perhaps the most unfortunate aspect of the shutdown is that we our would-be commissars now know how easily we can be cowed into submission. Wear a mask? Yes, sir. Maintain your distance? Yes, ma’m. Avoid visiting your parents and grandparents, including those dying of something unrelated to Covid-19? You bet! Postpone your wedding, the christening and stop attending church services? Okay, boss! Surely, you’re not thinking about getting together with your loved ones for Thanksgiving, Chanukah and Christmas. Of course not. What kind of disease-spreading, unmasked, son of a bitch do you take me for?

The Anthony Fauci’s of the world love to point out when notables like the Trumps, Virginia’s Governor, Ralph Northam, Hollywood’s Mr. and Mrs. Tom Hanks, along with Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, come down with the virus. But you know they hate it when the celebrities quickly recover, which might actually help calm people’s fears, which is exactly why the recoveries receive so much less attention than the onset.

While walking Angel this morning, it occurred to me that more often than not politicians make their mark the same way that animals do, by pissing on everything in sight.

Even though, America’s mass media did everything in its power to prevent anything negative about Joe Biden being reported before the election, thanks mainly to Fox News, a few things still leaked out from behind the new Iron Curtain.

So it was that I got to hear the man who might be the next president of this great country refer to his opponent as George. Not since Charles Foster Kane muttered “Rosebud” in an otherwise empty room has a word created this great a mystery.

Who is this George that Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., had on his mind so close to the election?

Washington? Foreman? Clooney? Gershwin? Bush I or Bush II or perhaps even King George III. Might it even be George of the Jungle or Gorgeous George of wrestling fame?

When it comes to the nooks and crannies of Biden’s mind, your guess is as good as anyone’s, including Biden’s.

When considering all the things that have brought America to the sad condition that we find it, there are a lot of villains. They include the mass media, the social media, the schools and various hoaxes ranging from global warming to climate change to the danger of Covid-19, but the effect of movies shouldn’t be overlooked.

In some ways, the jerks in the movies have influenced society far more than you might expect. That’s because it is an emotion-driven visual art. We can appreciate sculpture and paintings, but we’re not about to change our behavior based on Rodin’s The Thinker or Van Gogh’s Starry Night. It might encourage a few to take up painting or sculpture, others to take up art criticism, but that’s the extent of it.

But we have all heard how when Clark Gable took off his shirt and exposed his bare chest in “It Happened One Night,” what happened one night was that the undershirt business went under.

When Humphrey Bogart and Bette Davis were never seen onscreen without a cigarette, they hyped cigarette sales and somehow made bad breath and yellow fingers sexy.

There were times when Hollywood provided role models, usually male, who exemplified the virtues Americans allegedly held dear.

It could have been the chain-smoking Bogart treating the Nazis with well-deserved contempt in Casablanca, Jimmy Stewart fighting corruption in Washington, D.C., and Gary Cooper and John Wayne taking on cattle rustlers, card cheats and other two-legged varminuts all over the Old West.

But, suddenly, the 60s rolled around and we found ourselves up to our necks in what came to be known as anti-heroes.

You couldn’t swing a cat without hitting punks like Paul Newman in “Cool Hand Luke,” Marlon Brando in “The Wild One,” Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in “Easy Rider” and Jack Nicholson in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

They were a sleazy mix of drug dealers, petty criminals and certifiable lunatics. But they were cool. They lived to break society’s rules. And nobody was supposed to notice that their own rules were worse than society’s.

Every one of them could have been created by Jack “On the Road” Kerouac, one of the most boring writers to ever make a splash among New York’s literati and half-baked English professors.

These losers who never had a job, had a family, raised a child or even owned a dog, were what we had left after our erstwhile movie heroes defeated the Nazis, defeated the political bosses and killed the cattle rustlers.

What they lacked in communication skills, they compensated for by looking broody. A sulky, pouty look in one of those awful movies was worth a thousand incoherent words. It led to the advent of androgynous-like leading men like James Dean and Christopher Jones, who acted even worse than Kerouac wrote. Which shows what miraculous things can be achieved if only people persevere.

For most normal Americans, the day that Amy Coney Barrett was installed on the Supreme Court was a very happy occasion. But for Chuck Schumer, a man so shameless that he’s never even slightly embarrassed by the things he’s forced to say as the leader of the Senate’s minority, it marked “The darkest day in the history of the U.S. Senate.”

My word! The darkest day? Darker than the day that President Roosevelt proclaimed that December 7th was a day that would live in infamy and declared that we were entering World War II?

Not the second or third darkest day, but numero uno.

Now if I was called upon to come up with five or six of the worst days more deserving of the label, I’d suggest it was the day that Dianne Feinstein, Elizabeth Warren, Mazie Hirono, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer, were sworn in.

Schumer, adding to his tacky reputation, then warned Mitch McConnell and the Republicans that there will be a price to pay. But does anyone, including Schumer’s mother, believe that if Mrs. Barrett’s confirmation hadn’t been rushed through that if the Democrats had retaken the Senate, they’d hesitate for a second to get rid of the Senate filibuster, and the Electoral College, pack the Court and move to grant statehood to Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.?

The Democrats are also calling for the lowering of the voting age to 16. If I were going to add any group to the voting register, they’d be five-year-olds. Nobody is more tuned in to fair play and good sportsmanship than children that age. They are constantly calling out offenders who aren’t playing by the rules or not sharing or taking cuts in line or bullying smaller kids.

They are totally unlike teenagers who are always trying to get away with stuff and who never put away their toys and who smell bad. You can take it from me, the foulest smelling places on earth are slaughterhouses, tanneries and the boys locker rooms in the high schools of America.

The one part of the Biden scandal I never heard anyone else address is why, if not to engage in questionable activities, was Hunter on board Air Force Two when his father, allegedly conducting official business on behalf of this country, was going to places like Ukraine and China?

Unfortunately, I have been so desperate for the Republicans to maintain control of the Senate that I even had to hope that Susan Collins, who voted against Barrett’s confirmation, to win re-election.

Apparently, Collins is the very sort of Republican that the nincompoops of Maine seem to like; namely, Democrats who, apparently on a whim, stick an ® after their name.

In the meantime, one of the major benefits of Mrs. Barrett’s replacing Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is that John Roberts, the Susan Collins of the Court, will no longer be the ultimate arbiter, the swing vote, who, like the gods of ancient Greek drama, would be lowered to the stage via a deus ex machina device, to render final judgment on the proceedings.

Instead, Roberts will merely be a figurehead, a role he was born to play, a schmoe who looks good but usually votes the wrong way.

In other words, picture Mitt Romney in a black robe.

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