The Playgoer: Timely Words from B.B.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Timely Words from B.B.

"In my opinion, and it is the opinion of a serious, hard-working businessman, we do not have the right people at the head of the state. They all belong to some party or other, and parties are egotistical. Their point of view is one-sided. We need men who stand above the parties, as we businessmen do. We sell our goods to rich and poor alike. We sell everyone, without regard for persons...

The government of the state is a moral task. We have to reach a point where the employers are good employers, the employees good employees, in brief: where the rich are good rich and the poor good poor. I am convinced that the day of such a regime will come."
Which independent businessman said this? Mike Bloomberg? Mitt Romney? Ross Perot? Silvio Berlusconi???

Try one Mackie Messer, aka Macheath, aka Mack the Knife. By way of Bertolt Brecht in his Threepenny Novel--a 1934 reworking in prose of his Dreigroschenoper of 1928. (A "novelization," if you will!)

The easier it becomes for people to buy their way into office on the wave of some "post-partisan," "get things done!" appeal, I fear such a regime will come indeed.

(Threepenny Novel is indeed quite a revision, with a completely different last act. Ironically the plot--with its digression into the ways of banking--more closely resembles the allegedly "botched" adaptation of GW Pabst's 1931 movie, over which Brecht sued. Might BB have been more involved than he let on...?)

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