A Few Minutes with the Mayor – March 2017

Did you wake up angry this morning? A great many people do, judging by the news reports every day. I’ve never seen so many people this angry since Pearl Harbor was bombed, when I was twelve-years-old. By then I knew all the bad words children weren’t supposed to know, including the *F…* bomb. People used it a lot that Sunday night. Still, I have to congratulate our modern Hollywood crowd. The way they use it to express their anger today, it seems to have become part of their everyday language.

Some news reports show people on the edge of hysteria. Extreme anger can cause that. The other day I watched a news anchor on CNN proclaim, “Our president is murdering our children.” Now that’s a good reason to get angry. The Constitution, which those fanatical conservatives always keep alluding to, doesn’t grant the president authority to murder our children. All I can say is, I’m grateful to have grown up in simpler times. The only threat I ever felt was from brownshirts, blackshirts, and Nipponese bombers. It’s different today. How on earth can one defend ones loved ones from a murderer in the White House?

Some celebrities have been so angry they announced they would move to Canada. I had hoped to talk to one of them in order to learn what the legal steps were in order to take up residence in Canada. The only problem is that none of them actually moved there, so I have no one to talk to.

I must admit, I pay little attention to what any Hollywood celebrity says. These people are amateurs in the art of anger when compared to the movie crowd when I was growing up. They could all take a lesson from Humphrey Bogart. Every time he came to New York he would get into a brawl with someone. Now that’s real anger. It got so bad he was banned from at least twelve night clubs, including El Morocco, The 21, and the Stork Club. At El Morocco, he shoved two women away and started picking up dishes off the tables, throwing them at one of the women’s boyfriend who happened to be a notorious gangster. That one made the front pages. His capacity for anger was so great, we New Yorkers used to look forward to his visits just to see how his next encounter would turn out.

Most of the time, Bogie was well-fueled by an ample supply of booze. “The whole world is three drinks behind,” he proclaimed in 1950. “If everyone in the world would take three drinks, we would have no trouble.” In his case, he usually went well beyond three drinks. So did many others. It was the night club age when people were out until two or four in the morning, therein allowing ample time to down more than a few cocktails. One night, Bogie was with his party when a man at a nearby table decided he could probably take Bogie on. Proclaiming out loud that he thought Bogie wasn’t so tough, he soon found out otherwise. Filled with anger, Bogie rose to the challenge decking the guy cold. Now that’s genuine anger! Not at all like the anger today’s celebrities show by talking a lot. Is it the genuine thing? How are we to know? If they would stand up, snarl, and then punch someone out cold then we could be certain. There are a lot of deplorables around. Why not take one of them on? Wouldn’t that show just how angry they really are?

Here’s another idea: If punching a deplorable doesn’t seem adequate enough or perhaps is intimidating since they might punch back, why not refuse to pay any income taxes? That will accomplish two things. First, it will advance one’s career by putting them on the front page alongside other angry people like Meryl Streep. Second, it would keep any number of lawyers earning more money by working late into the night.

There is a minor drawback to this option. It doesn’t provide the media with startling graphics that a good old-fashioned sock in the jaw does. I recommend following Bogie’s style. Who needs civility?