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Li’l Abner on the debt ceiling panic

Patterned after GM president Charlie Wilson, who said: what's good for General Motors is good for AmericaWhen the satiric cartoon Li’l Abner was made a musical on Broadway, robber baron General Bullmoose sang Bring back the good old days, lamenting the regulation of capitalism, pondering:
“How can you break the market?
            How?
The SEC will not allow
            …one little panic.”

Today with graft unregulated and un-policed, the American public is made to panic for every swindle, to extort from them bank bailouts, tax breaks for the rich, and now cuts to “entitlements” such as poverty class pensions and medical care.

The Li’l Abner strip may not have had the legacy of Pogo, or longevity of Gasoline Alley, but it was the Doonesbury of the 30s and up to the 70s. In the introduction to From Dogpatch to Slobbovia, a little compendium of Abner scenarios, cartoonist Al Capp said this about his artistic intentions:

“to create suspicion of, and disrespect for, the perfection of all established institutions. That’s what I think education is. Anybody who gets out of college having had his confidence in the perfection of existing institutions affirmed has not been educated. Just suffocated.”

Avid fans included Queen Elizabeth, Charlie Chaplin and John Steinbeck who wrote:

Capp is probably the greatest contemporary writer and my suggestion is that if the Nobel Prize committee is at all alert, they should seriously consider him.”

As a side note, the Broadway cast of Li’l Abner included the character Stupefyin’ Jones, played by Julie Newmar aka Catwoman, and Appassionata Von Climax, played by Tina Louise, Ginger of Gilligan’s Island –if you always wondered how the character Ginger could not have failed to be a real “movie star.” Tina Louise began her career on Broadway in the 50s and was age thirty-something when the TV series aired. Imagine green-lighting an actress of that age today to play a sex symbol, yet Louise became as yet TV’s most enduring sex symbol.

One thought on “Li’l Abner on the debt ceiling panic

  1. I wonder if Glenn Beck has done a rant on Li’l Abner?

    I’m pretty sure he already did the reputation of Henry Fonda for his role in Grapes of Wrath and later for not disowning Jane for antiwar activities.
    Funny thing, a lot of the people Beck disrespects were, unlike John Wayne and Ronald Reagan or George Bush the Either, actual military veterans.
    Even the McCarthy hearings pointed out the huge number of Communists, card-carrying, in the Armed Forces during WW2.

    I think they outnumbered the Capitalists.

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