Random Shots: Family Values for Beginners

Against the Current, No. 53, November/December 1994

R.F. Kampfer

THE WAY TO teach your children the value of money is to pay them a weekly allowance of forty hours minimum wage, then charge them everything they cost. By the time they graduate high school they’ll owe you enough to retire on.

If the Religious Right ever gets into power, the pentacostals, charismatics, evangelicals and fundamentalists will spend most of their time attacking each other over issues none of us knows or cares about.

Lots of women in the comic strips have been getting pregnant lately. Maybe Cathy could break new ground by following their example? No…we already had Wanda Fonda as an unwed mother.

The fact that children actually like Gummi-Bears and Jolly Ranchers disposes of the notion that we need to consider their opinions about anything.

It’s A Fact

THE FIRST VETERANS’ hospitals were established not out of compassion, but because the sight of crippled soldiers begging in the streets tended to discourage recruiting.

A recent study has confirmed that the Los Angeles Police Department’s trigger-happy reputation is well deserved, with 60% of the shots fired being unjustified. Three officers went so far as to shoot out the windshields on their own patrol cars.

There was a major scandal at the 1989 Japanese Koi Show when it was discovered that the markings on a pair of prize-winning fish were tattooed on.

Kampfer’s Kulture Korner

DISNEY IS COMING out with an animated version of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” In their version, Esmeralda will probably survive and Quasimodo will get an operation.

The grimmer aspects of frontier life were censored in the original Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Time to come out with a truthful version: “Little Outhouse on the Prairie?”

By popularizing the .25 Beretta in his James Bond novels, Ian Fleming probably saved the lives of a lot of people who might otherwise have been shot with real pistols.

How come those convenient pre-set station buttons are standard on car radios but not on home receivers?

The “secret weapon” featured in the latest Tom Clancy book, Debt of Honor, was first conceived by Chester Gould for Dick Tracy in 1948.

Some lines of movie dialogue are worth the price of admission all by themselves.

* In Tarzan, the Ape-Man, Richard Harris, impaled on an elephant tusk: “Well Jane, it looks like the end of the line.” Bo Derek, petulantly: “I don’t like to hear that kind of talk.”

* In The End of Baron Ungerin, Mongol herdsman: “Lenin? Who is Lenin?” Bolshevik soldier: “A great man, and a great friend of the Mongols.”

* In Yojimbo, Toshiro Mifune, amid universal desolation: “Now this town will be peaceful again.”

Repentance and Other Subjects

THOUGHTS ON YOM Kippur: The sins we regret most are the ones we failed to commit.

The AFL-CIO leadership did not fight as hard as they could have for the anti-scab bill. Had it passed, they would have lost a major excuse for not striking.

The debate over the nature of the Soviet Union has outlasted that peculiar institution to become even more academic than it used to be.

Haiti might have avoided a great deal of suffering if Aristide had undertaken to wipe out his irreconcilable enemies while he had the chance.

ATC 53, November-December 1994