A feature article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel the other day described the journey of comedy director David Zucker (a native of a Milwaukee suburb, Shorewood, and best known for his involvement with brother Jerry and Jim Abrahams in the production of the Police Squad and Naked Gun movies) from his liberal background to his current conservatism. At first, my reaction was, okay, some guy becomes more conservative as he ages – nothing very unusual there – but at a specific point in the article, I realized Mr. Zucker had departed the plane of reality. He’s quoted describing Barack Obama as “an extreme left-wing candidate who doesn’t represent the country.”
Uh-huh. Exactly which positions of Obama – who’s reliably liberal on social issues (as are most Americans) and moderate on economic issues (as are most Americans) – are “extreme left-wing”? Funny how the folks who make such accusations never back them up (nor are asked to: bad enough in a biographical puff piece like this one, but plain irresponsible in political reporting). And that “doesn’t represent the country”? Apparently all those folks who voted for Obama in the primaries, and who gave Obama lead in most polls, must not be from this country. And Zucker has swallowed the lie that McCain represents “lower taxes.” Here’s a chart (whose presentation, from wealthiest to poorest taxpayers, gives casual readers a false impression), demonstrating that for most Americans, except the very wealthiest, Obama’s tax plan will lower taxes considerably more than McCain’s will.
And, sadly, dirt and grime have at last vanquished their mortal enemy: I refer, of course, to Mr. Clean: the actor who portrayed the eponymous cleaning products spokesperson, House Peters Jr., has died at the age of 92. That New York Times article describes the career of Peters – one of many bit actors who are all but forgotten now – but fails to explain where the rather exotic (for its time) image of Mr. Clean came from. I mean, nowadays bald-headed, muscular guys sporting white t-shirts and an earring are everywhere (although few have the illustrated Mr. Clean’s bushy white eyebrows), but back then, that look must have seemed quite bizarre.