That Presidential Scowl Is Familiar
The other day I found myself musing how much fun Shakespeare would have with the assorted knaves, brigands, fools, strumpets, cutpurses and buffoons in our sight today.
Then I noticed “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is on Broadway, and I flicked on the Web and saw a familiar facial expression – a sullen youth who can never get enough, of anything.
These are all stock characters for the ages, from the open-air theaters of London in the 16th and 17th Century to the films and plays today.
Roald Dahl captured it in his book that inspired the movie with Gene Wilder, leading to the Broadway musical of today. Dahl created a character described on the school-prep web site, gradesaver.com
Gloop is incredibly greedy and the first child to find a Golden Ticket. He is also the first child to fail Wonka’s tests. Gloop eats an extraordinary amount of chocolate, so much that his mother says it would have been impossible for him not to have eventually found a Golden Ticket. While his origin is unknown in the book, he tends to be thought of as German, since he is from Germany in both movies. His mother seems to delight in her son’s gluttonous habits and encourages them. Augustus leaves the factory when he drinks from the chocolate river, and falls in, getting sucked up a pipe and sent to the Fudge Room.
These days we have a public figure, indulged by his family but, when he was discovered hiding knives, was banished to a military school, hence the unsated appetite for attention, for love, for respect.
The irony is that in the original movie, the Gloop family hails from Bavaria. Today the leader of Germany is a dignified woman who has put up with two boy-men presidents from America.
And by the way, the comparison of Dahl’s Gloop and our current Gloop is not about excess weight – it’s the neediness, the meanness, the emptiness.
Our Gloop is capable of generosity, but only to himself and his associates for the moment, as witnessed by his proposed plan that would cut taxes for the gunnysack guys he has assembled -- people like him.
Going on 100 days, I am waiting for a Willy Wonka figure to emerge from Congress and inspect the new Augustus Gloop with a gimlet eye.
Savvy Europeans have figured out Ivanka the Brand; one of these days maybe some law agency will take a look at Jared Kushner and his dodgy investors.
As for our contemporary Gloop, where, when we really need it, is the pipe to the Fudge Room?
(check out the antlers over the newscaster's head)
4/30/2017 03:50:18 pm
4/30/2017 03:56:09 pm
Sorry, tried to get a photo of Augustus in his military school uniform, but got the website instead. You might find the picture there.
5/1/2017 10:23:10 pm
I cant let this go, George. I believe you will be embarrassed by this. What could have been going through your head to write this about the President of the United States, elected by our fellow citizens, especially the ones who are in most need of hope and who were deeply disappointed by the last President. What you wrote here is cruel and inappropriate in the extreme. The other day the greatest heavy weight championship fight I've ever seen was conducted. That would have been a far better focus of your talent and professional attention.
5/2/2017 11:15:29 am
Brian: minority of voters will be embarrassed at electing a disturbed and profoundly ignorant man. He is coming apart in front of us. I see signs the Congress recognizes this. He won't last the term. All of this obvious last fall. GV
5/2/2017 11:47:15 am
George, ad hominem is never justified, and you'd be the first to say that if you read something similar but with a different political viewpoint. The Democratic Party political research folks, Global Strategy Group, reported something quite illuminating.
5/3/2017 09:00:42 am
Comments are closed.
“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.