[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
> 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.
> 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-
> 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
> 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
"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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