[Sca-cooks] Fig Newtons from God?

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sun Mar 30 10:33:27 PDT 2008

On Mar 30, 2008, at 8:37 AM, Susan Fox wrote:
> What, you never saw "Hogan's Heroes"?  Cast member Robert Clary was
> himself a Holocaust survivor, and agreed to be on the show on the
> condition that the Nazis were never ever shown in a sympathetic light.

The comic author P.G. Wodehouse was interviewed on American radio  
during his internment in various camps in 1940 or so, and he had the  
poor judgement to point out that the soldiers of the Third Reich that  
he had personally dealt with up to that point appeared to be quite  
stupid, poorly managed, and absolutely without any idea of why they  
were there or what they were supposed to be doing, and that he had  
some difficulty looking on them with anything but pity. Naturally,  
imprisonment in an internment camp is not the best way to keep up on  
outside news, and much of the well-documented horrors occurred  
somewhat later anyway.

Wodehouse got to say goodbye to much of his career, thanks in large  
part to a smear campaign led by a professionally envious A.A. Milne  
(think of Peter Schaeffer's Salieri), and hello to exile for life from  
England. Word of his knighthood and the forgiveness of his country for  
his failure to hate sufficiently or wisely arrived when he was  
comatose and on his deathbed, 33 years later.

Some of his funniest stuff, BTW, both before and after this  
experience, actively ridicule Hitler's moustache, and he's got a  
brilliantly silly character based on Sir Oswald Mosely, the British  
fascist leader (who, in the books, secretly designs ladies' silk  
undergarments under the nom de lingerie of Eulalie Souers). Wodehouse  
never said a bad word directly about Milne, apart from having  
characters in later novels express the opinion that no sane person  
would stand up in public and recite poetry about Christopher Robin  
going hoppity-hop without a blackmailer behind it all...

> Once WWII has left living memory, and all those who even met a  
> survivor
> have passed from this earth, the whole thing will look different.

I dunno; certainly there's an argument to be made for keeping certain  
things fresh in our memories. Mel Brooks has always openly stated that  
a good part of his fascination for poking fun at the Third Reich was  
his attempt to permanently associate that way of thinking with the  
abject ridicule of the world, thereby preventing recurrence.

As to my fears about who Brooks' successors are going to be making fun  
of in a few years, I won't speak here.

>  Our
> ancestors who were saved by Esther would probably blanch over the very
> concept of Hamentashen, don't you think?

I'm not sure. Traditional foods remembered for a Very Bad Person are  
not otherwise unprecedented: there's an ancient Chinese general and  
administrator who ended up being boiled in oil, and his story is told  
to children when they eat what in English are commonly known as  
Chinese crullers, but whose actual name translates better as "deep- 
fried devils".

> As to the third:  really, I was thinking very dark chocolate bar
> cookies, like brownies.

I _think_ there are mostacciola cookies of some sort out there, in  
addition to the pasta...


> More Purim foolishness:  Xerxes in the graphic novel/movie "300" is  
> one
> of the Kings of Persia who is considered as a possible "real life"
> person documented as King Ahasuerus.  Scary, huh?

One can only imagine what Frank Miller's version of Esther looked  
like ;-)


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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