Quoting Voltaire, Shakespeare … & Carville?

Voltaire, the 18th century philosopher, said, “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” These days, the obvious answer would be Barack Obama. But that wouldn’t even approach the correct answer. In our craven, oh so politically correct society, the right answer would include blacks — both in and out of government — illegal aliens, gay activists, Muslims, disability scammers, welfare recipients, teachers and other public sector union members.

Shakespeare famously wrote: “This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” To which, I say, what unmitigated poppycock! I realize that when a guy starts tossing around words like “thine,” “thou” and “canst,” it tends to make it sound like it’s coming straight from God. But blarney is blarney even if it’s attributed to the Bard of Avon. If a con man fully accepts his own corrupt nature for what it is, if, in other words, he is being true to himself, it seems to me that being false to other men is nothing more or less than his chosen vocation. It is what he evidently was born to do, much like Mozart was born to make music, Rembrandt was born to paint and Harry Reid was born to oversee funeral arrangements.

Speaking of pre-destiny, it occurs to me that some folks are born to be rich and others, such as myself, not to be. Many years ago, when I was writing a humor column for the L.A. Times, I devoted part of an article to the silly notion that, instead of dogs and cats, people should consider having rocks as pets. I pointed out that you didn’t have to feed them, give them shots or worry about their triggering your allergies.

A few months down the road, a fad known as Pet Rocks swept America. Like the earlier Hula Hoops and coonskin caps, you could hardly turn around without seeing them. I never heard from the guy who got rich off the novelty, and he never heard from me. Although I naturally hoped he’d send me a few bucks, I didn’t hold my breath waiting for a check. For all I knew, it was just one of those creative coincidences that sometimes occur. In any case, he was the guy who saw millions in the idea, whereas I had only seen an amusing way to fill a paragraph.

In retrospect, I suspect the guy was a conservative because, where others saw only rubble, he saw his fortune. On the other hand, I imagine that most, if not all, of his customers were liberals. After all, these boneheads are notorious for their willingness to buy anything anyone wants to sell them, even if it’s the same rocks they have in their own backyard. Not to mention in their own heads

Time and again, I have contended that conservative parents who can afford to send their kids to private schools or religious academies, or, better yet, home school their offspring, and don’t, are guilty of child abuse.

Towards the same end, I have tried to persuade wealthy conservatives to stop wasting their money trying to help elect an occasional politician, and, instead, to start buying up newspapers, magazines and TV stations. After all, by the time your kids are going off to be indoctrinated by left-wing professors, the battle has already been lost. Most 18-year-olds already regard their conservative parents as political Neanderthals, so that any further indoctrination will only be a case of gelding the lily, as it were. So long as the Left continues to control education and the mass media, they will continue to control the messages your children are absorbing.

I find it odd that parents will stop at nothing to prevent their kids from becoming addicted to drugs or falling under the influence of a religious cult, but they persist in turning a blind eye to those dedicated to turning them into left-wing zombies.

A friend who lives in Arizona sent me an email alerting me to the fact that the Los Angeles Press Club has bestowed its 2012 Visionary Award on none other than Jane Fonda. According to the proclamation, she is “the person in the entertainment industry who uses her high-profile status to make the world a better place and to spread information about issues of freedom and social importance.”

My friend wondered if there really was such a group. I assured him there was, indeed, such a club, but instead of a secret handshake or a password, the local journalists acknowledge one another by drooling over left-wing celebrities.

Furthermore, if I’m not mistaken, the Visionary was formerly known as the Benedict Arnold Award.

This brings us to James Carville, the cadaverous-looking political operative who helped unleash Bill Clinton on an unsuspecting world. In a quote that went viral, he was alleged to have said that “80% of Democrats are politically clueless. Truth is relative. Truth is whatever you can make the voter believe is the truth. That’s why I’m a Democrat. I can make Democratic voters think whatever I want them to.”

When I first read it, my reaction was that even a creep like Carville can be honest if you get him drunk enough. But upon further investigation, I discovered that, one, either he never said it; or, two, that he decided to deny he said it once he sobered up.

But isn’t it always that way with liberals? The only time they seem to make any sense at all is when they’re drunk or you are.

©2012 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write 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/
  • Big B

    Burt, I love your articles. You’re right about buying up the media. The GOP has enough money to buy NBC, CBS and comedy central today. The amount of money spent on Romney’s campaign alone would have been able to purchase one of these liberal rags. Keep up the good work bro’.

  • Wheels55

    You thought of pet rocks? Cool.

    I thought of a well spoken guy who doesn’t really understand much but is pushed ahead and protected by others and becomes a supreme leader – but that was after August 4, 1961. I was too late.

  • cmacrider

    Burt: Has anyone done a survey to find out how many people who bought pet rocks also voted for Obama in this last election?

  • sjangers

    Gelding the lily?! Very nice, Burt! I still haven’t worked my way through all the nuance in that twisted metaphor, but nonetheless am thoroughly impressed by your art for expression.

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Thank you, sjangers. When this piece appeared at my site, two of my readers actually wrote to correct me, thinking I had merely mistyped the cliche. I really thought the addition of “as it were” would let everyone know better, but I should know better than to assume anything.


      • sjangers

        It was probably just guilt by association, Burt. There are far too many writers out there today who do things to the English language that probably should never be seen in public. Other readers may have reacted instinctively to your column. But I’ve read enough of your work to know that you can move the language in interesting and mysterious ways, so I took a second or two to think it through. It was more than worth the effort.

  • deny916

    jane fonda making the world a better place????? Now THAT is rich! Still hate that woman to this day and always will. How any one in their right mind could give her an award…well they are obviously not in their right mind. Man it was everything in my power not to use the B word on this one Burt! Thanks for another great article!

    • Burt Prelutsky

      Thank you, Deny. Never refrain from using the B-word about Hanoi Jane. She’s done a lot to deserve it.


  • RickonhisHarleyJohnson

    I was with you all the way until the end, Burt. I’ve never been so drunk that liberals made sense. Okay, okay; maybe a couple of times in my twenties!

    • Burt Prelutsky

      See, Rick? I knew that you would see it my way, assuming that all that early boozing hadn’t destroyed all your brain cells.


  • DOOM

    Still, there is another person in the entertainment industry that has done far more to advance leftist causes than Jane Fonda could ever imagine: Barack Obama.