Advertisement

Violence? What if It Stars Mother Teresa? : THE JAUNDICED EYE

Bruce McCall is a regular contributor to the New Yorker

Sen. Huff: Mr. Pangloss, thank you for appearing here this morning. I yield to my colleague, the distinguished . . .

Sen. Dudgeon: Sir, at last report “The Wizard of Oz” was responsible for more than 200 Midwestern schoolchildren, from 1939 to the present, running out of storm cellars and right into the eyes of tornadoes and cyclones.

Mr. Pangloss: Well, senator, I’d like to--

Dudgeon: I don’t care what you’d . . . and you’re surely aware that “Snow White,” this picture of yours of which your industry is so proud--more than a thousand, a thousand--little teen-age girls have gone into a glass coffin in parks, in their back yards, to wait for Prince Charming to come. This kind of thing has just got, Mr. Pangloss, just got to . . . .

Advertisement

Pangloss: If I could, senator . . . .

Sen. Snivelmore: If Sen. Dudgeon would yield . . . just a . . . thank you, senator. I believe Mr. Pangloss has a statement for the committee that will . . . .

Huff: I would just like to add, before Mr. Pangloss reads his statement, that this is worldwide. “The Sound of Music,” for example. Swiss children starving for oxygen in Alpine meadows full of what do you call them, the bugs that bite. But go ahead, Mr. Pangloss. I’d be interested in what you want to tell us.

Pangloss: Gentlemen, I speak for the American motion-picture industry in saying here, this morning, that we fully realize and accept our obligation. The motion-picture industry--and may I just ad-lib something here, you’re all invited later to our luau at the Shoreham--must live up to its social responsibilities.

Advertisement

How? With a new, voluntary code. We call it the “Caring Contract.” And gentlemen, I got a call from Los Angeles this morning, confirming it’s already in effect.

In preproduction, as we speak, is “Biblemania,” a teen musical that we sincerely hope and trust the youth of America takes to its heart. Scripts, I believe, have already been distributed to you. If you haven’t had time to read it yet--a Vegas hooker, pursued by hit men, flees to a tiny chapel and discovers Jesus. When the thugs break in and start firing, the Bible she is reading becomes a life-saving shield. We see a strong cameo here for Mother Teresa, and . . . .

Dudgeon: Mr. Pangloss, with all due respect, one movie is not . . . .

Pangloss: Not one movie, senator--a movement. In turnaround at this very moment is Oliver Stone’s “Billy Graham.” Mr. Charlton Heston, Chuck--I think you know him--has agreed to play the elder Billy, and Alec Baldwin the tortured young Billy, struggling with his faith. Kim is Pat Nixon. Oliver is so excited that it’s already over budget. Paramount is remaking “Boys Town,” with Denzel Washington in the Spencer Tracy role. Imagine it, gentlemen--kids of all creeds and races and religions, marching on Washington to support either abortion rights or anti-abortion rights; the movie will have two endings, to be determined by local community standards.

Advertisement

Medicare and Medicaid will be the subject of a new Disney animated feature set in a retirement home for dogs, “A Thousand and One Parasites,” that I, frankly, believe will have members of this committee standing up and cheering at the end.

Ready for Christmas, 1996, release will be “Live Hard III.” Senators, it’s going to be big. Whoopi Goldberg is a welfare queen. Melanie Griffith is a scab air-traffic controller. When Melanie saves the plane that Whoopi is taking on a government-subsidized Acapulco holiday, it triggers a catch-in-the-throat turnaround as thousands of inner-city welfare loafers spontaneously rip up their food stamps and parade en mass to an Enterprise Zone for the climactic speech by Whoopi, with Melanie right by her . . . .

I’m sorry, gentlemen. Something stuck in my throat, I guess. Be all right in a . . . .

Huff: That’s quite all right, Mr. Pangloss. You just take your drink of water. No further witnesses. I’d like to call a recess.

Advertisement


Advertisement
Advertisement