G. B. Shaw Was a Horse’s Patootie

by Burt Prelutsky

Although I loved what Lerner and Loewe made of it, it’s a shame that George Bernard Shaw wrote Pygmalion. That’s because all his other plays, including Candida, Man and Superman and Major Barbara, were snoozearamas and it would make it so much easier to dismiss him as an over-rated creep. This way, a fair-minded person has no option but to admit that the over-rated creep wasn’t entirely without talent.

When I was a kid, I recall seeing Shaw in newsreels. As he aged — eventually making it to 94 — reporters would make an annual pilgrimage to his cottage to find out how the aging Irish dramatist felt at 80 or 85 or 90. He would inevitably emerge into his garden dressed in tweeds and plus fours, looking as if he was on his way to the local golf course. By that time, it was as if he were playing a role in one of his own productions — the querulous, but loveable old vegetarian.

In truth, Shaw, a devout socialist, was an outspoken fan of his fellow socialists, Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin. To be fair, he didn’t share Hitler’s hatred of Jews; instead, he argued that the chemists of the world should concoct a humane gas that could be used to eliminate capitalists and other unproductive members of society. By unproductive, I assume he meant people who had neither written Caesar and Cleopatra, nor bought a ticket to see it.
Even if, knowing what I do about the playwright, I now find it harder to laugh at Professor Higgins’ frustrations with Eliza Dolittle, I find I can still chuckle at Andy Rooney’s buffoonery. Recently, for instance, in pooh-poohing a Gallup Poll that showed Obama having an approval rating of just 44%, Rooney announced that he had proof that Gallup was in the pocket of the GOP. It seems that Rooney had asked nine of his pals how they thought Obama was doing, and eight of them said he was doing a bang-up job. Or, in other words, according to the Rooney Poll, the president has an 88% approval rating, which is exactly twice as high as those rotten bastards at Gallup are letting on.

I guess it all comes down to whether you’re going to accept Rooney’s final word on the subject or if you’re actually going to believe what those 90,000 lying racists allegedly told Gallup’s pollsters.

For my part, I marvel at the notion that the 91-year-old sour puss still has nine friends.

Speaking of polls, a recent one conducted by Newsmax suggested that if the Democratic primary were held today, Hillary Clinton would trounce Obama by 20 percentage points. When I read that, I must confess that I found myself sharing some of Rooney’s skepticism about polls. Frankly, I didn’t get the point of even asking the question. It’s not that I doubt that the Iron Maiden is more popular than the president, but even if the unemployment rate remains where it is until 2012, how could she possibly defeat him in the primaries and still get herself elected in the general? Does anyone, including Dick Morris, think black Americans are going to vote for the white woman who brought down the first black president?

You needn’t be Charles Krauthammer, after all, to understand that if 90% of blacks didn’t turn every election day into Christmas for the Democrats, nobody with a (D) after his name would ever win another national election.

As a conservative, there’s nothing I’d enjoy more in 2012 than to see Mrs. Clinton challenge Mr. Obama, and if she got the nomination, even I might be tempted to run against her.

Speaking of the 2012 election, a number of pundits are insisting that the Republicans don’t yet have a frontrunner. That, I would suggest, is because there are so many first-rate possibilities in the mix. They include past candidates Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and, if she can tear herself away from the glories of Alaska, Sarah Palin. There are also a herd of attractive rookies on the roster, including Bobby Jindal, Paul Ryan, John Thune, Rick Perry, Mike Pence, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Bob McDonnell, Marco Rubio and my personal favorite, Chris Christie.

On the other hand, when the Democrats refer to a fresh face, they only mean that Nancy Pelosi has just returned from getting another Botox injection.

©2010 Burt Prelutsky
Want more Burt? Go to BurtPrelutsky.com
Write to: BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.

Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
Author website: http://www.burtprelutsky.com/
  • Paul Borden

    Should it come as a surprise that 8 of Rooney’s 9 friends like Obama and think he is doing a great job? Pauline Kael may not have exactly uttered the words attributed to her concerning Nixon’s ’72 election, but the gist of her feelings were there, and it’s the same with Rooney. He is dealing with a biased pool. If I asked 6 of my 6 best friends what they thought of Obama, I would get 100 percent the president is doing a lousy job.

    • JDO

      Heh, one of the main points of Bernie’s first book, Bias. If you’re surrounded by like-thinking people, it is, of course, quite obvious that polls/opinions/etc that run contrary to what you believe MUST be wrong, since you don’t know ANYone that disagrees with your opinion.