Saturday, January 21, 2012

Will Rogers: Before My Time

Will Rogers would certainly have had an abundance of material for his comedy acts and his newspaper columns had he been around in our time.
by Charlie Leck

I’m reading a biography of Will Rogers. It was written by Richard D. White, Jr., a professor of Public Administration at Louisiana State University. It’s a good book. I’m certainly enjoying it.

I was surprised to learn that Will Rogers died (1935) five years before I was born. As a boy, I can remember watching film clips of him doing his little lasso act and knocking out his one-liners as if they were powerful line-drives to the outfield gaps. What I had watched with my parents must have been film clips of him. As a little tyke I was probably not prepared to understand how a dead man could be there on the screen entertaining me with rope tricks.

Rogers loved to stick pins in the soft skin of politicians. White makes that very clear in this book. Oh, what material Rogers would have in this day and age! Ey?

In one of his newspaper columns he wrote…

“You know the more you read and observe about this Politic thing You got [sic] to admit that each Party is worse than the other. The one that’s out always looks the best… I tell you Folks, all Politics is Apple Sauce.”

In 1924, in the New York Times, he wrote…

“Every time a bill comes up they have a million things to decide that have nothing to do with the merit of the bill. They first must consider is, or was, it introduced by a member of the opposite Political Party. It if is [sic], why then something is wrong with it from the start… Then the principal thing of course, ‘what will it do for me back home?’ ...Politics and self-preservation must come first, never mind the majority of the people… A man’s thoughts are naturally on his next term, more than on his country.”

In our current time, Will Rogers’ mind would be blown out by sensory overload!


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1 comment:

  1. We tend to forget that politics never change. It's a wonder the country has done as well as it has. We need more Will Rogers types on the scene to keep our political sanity.