Crazy Back Then, Too

Posted by on August 7th, 2010 at 10:19 PM

Democratic party policy as enunciated by its officially chosen spokesmen . . . bears a made-in-Moscow label. That is why I believe I am justified in saying the choice which confronts Americans this year is between Communism and Republicanism.

That was the chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1946, when prominent Democrats included Harry Truman, Sam Rayburn and Eleanor Roosevelt. The world’s most prominent communist was, of course, Joseph Stalin.

The wording of the quote is artfuI, but it sounds like the speaker wanted people to think that the Democratic Party’s official policy positions were Communist. Huh. You might as well say shoes are snow tires or Jello is spackle. Just too many differences, chum. But, then and now, Republicans have gone ahead and made the jump. (Jonah Goldberg, thinking hard: A skyscraper has corners, sheets have corners … so what detergent gets skyscrapers really clean?)

Not that I realized the GOP was peddling this talk in 1946; I thought the stuff was more recent, and that back in the ’40s the Republicans stuck to claiming there were traitors stealing info (soon enough McCarthy would claim that they were deciding foreign policy) and that helpful projects like the TVA or the SEC were socialistic (many degrees away from a claim of Stalinism).

Of course, in 1945 Winston Churchill had said Labour would bring in “some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance.” But that’s a different country, and Churchill is always a special case: no man in history had a head so full of multicolored gases.

Uncanny. Samm Levine, the nice boy who played the gabby kid in Freaks and Geeks, is also part of Brad Pitt’s commando squad in Inglorious Basterds. Time passes. He looks much alike, in that his face is such a distinctive brown-eyed squash that it will stay recognizable as long it keeps its shape. On the other hand, the effect of the face is a lot at different at age 13 and age 26: cute kid vs. adult with face swollen out of control.

Samm Levine as kid

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His character in Freaks and Geeks is so great. Nancy Franklin, The New Yorker‘s tv critic, called him “such a little man.” That’s the character’s hallmark. Neal Schweiber is a live wire of a kid who’s ready to move straight into a robust middle age. He might as well be 45, but he reminds you there’s nothing necessarily wrong with being 45. I knew a kid like that in school, and except for Nate I have never seen his type represented in any movie or tv show.

Nate, consoling his friend’s big sister (she’s three or four years older than Nate, of course): “You’re a beautiful young woman! The world is your oyster!”

Giving his pal a pep talk: “Do you think Steve Martin always ‘feels like’ being funny?”

Horoscope. Stay home.
Erma says: “My cat goes boom-boom” is not something you want to hear around the house!

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