<center><b><u>REVIEW OF THE WEEK<p> by<p> BAO DAI of HOLLYWOOD</b></u><p> Dateline: Hollywood, June 4, 2000<p> <b>WHY EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A GUN PUT TO THEIR HEAD AND.... </b>

After reading this everyone is going to thing I'm very unPC, although Bill Maher will not be inviting me onto Politically Incorrect, especially when it's taped "live" (which by all accounts beats the shit out of being taped dead) at the Playboy Mansion... but then the Playboy Mansion, much like Old Hugh himself, gets old pretty quick.

So for what reason do I propose guns be placed to everyone's head? Actually, I don't suggest that at all... I just thought it was kind of a catchy title. What I do suggest is that.... well, let me relate what happened yesterday when my good friends Mr. Peabody and Sherman came by toting their Way Back Machine like one of those portapotties in the commercial for Flomax, the pill that allows men with prostrates the size of basketballs to pee less frequently.

The three of us piled in and whizzboinggggkazow we stepped out into 10th Century North America, although no one there knew it was the 10th Century or North America.

The three of us sat upon a grassy knoll, scarfing some peyote buttons, vomiting, laughing and training our telescope on a small encampment of the Sioux Nation, watching a family of ten Mohican refugees from some sort of slaughter of innocents who had come many miles and sought to join up with these Sioux as they embarked on their annual charity buffalo hunt.

Since none of us could understand 10th Century Siouxish or Mohican, especially after ten buttons each, we sort of had to guess what was going on, but all three of us realized that the Mohicans were unwelcome - not because of their weird haircuts and lack of feathered headdresses, but because the Sioux couldn't understand a fucking word they said.

We popped back into the Way Back Machine, set the controls for 12 Lunar Phases in the future and whizzboinggggkazow we stepped out to see the Sioux untying the Mohicans, who had been kept on poles and toted from place to place. The Mohicans were now speaking Siouxish, had grown out their hair and were welcome on the Charity Buffalo Hunt.

Now the First Wave of Euro Trash to hit these shores is often spoken of as a negative event, but one of the things that happened was the homogenation of language, so those Mohicans, if they chose, could move about and not be tied to stakes or otherwise ostracized for a year or so and could immediately join in any buffalo hunt (theorhetically since one of the first things that went were the buffalo). The next day, back in my own time period I was watching some abortion of Morning Entertainment News in which they happened to interview the following:

Starving Ethiopians with opens festering sores covered in horseflies;

Some Chechnyans complaining about Russians;

Some Israelis complaining about Yassar Arafat;

Some Russians complaining about Chechnyans;

Some Colombians complaining that the US was fighting a war in their country who could not figure out who had invited the Marines;

Some guy in New Delhi explaining why his deli did not carry Pimento Loaf and other tasty beef byproduct based luncheon meats;

An average Japanese citizen expounding on the beneficial effects of Fugi;

The Taiwanese Parliament socking it out; and

The owner of a small hole in the wall taco stand in Century City.

The truly amazing thing is that the only one of these people not doing the interview in English was the guy with the taco stand. All the others understood English and spoke it a damn sight better than I can handle Spanish (que hablo un pocito solamente).

See, due to some bizarre twist of fate, or maybe because various German war machines were always over running France, a few decades back the so-called international language was changed from French to English, and despite the fact that English is a rather difficult, illogical language to learn being part Latin, part "Germanic" and part Anglo/Saxon/Celtic/Danish and Lord only knows what else, it seems most people, from your keeper of a grimy little shop in out of the way Merida, Mexico (the hammock capital of the world) to the soldiers of the Taliban to the Prime Minister of Zaire and his youngest son, all can rattle on pretty well in English.

Indeed, it seems most "foreigners" to these shores can speak English... until, they get here. This was not always the case. Members of my own family arived her without knowing a word of English and simply kept their mouths shut for three months until they could speak it fluently with no accent and many are today working in the exciting field of telemarketing.

Once in the US, possibly due to an overly broad reading of the First Amendment, immigrants feel completely free to abandon English and revert to their native tongue, or just never bother learning English since, e.g., institutions like the California Department of Motor Vehicles offers Driver's Tests in every language from Swahili to Mandarin and Cantonese to Polish to Spanish and... and... well go down there and try to find a book explaining the rules of the road in English, I think you'll see the point.

For the past week I've been getting on an elevator in a big old city block sized building (huge for LA) and I haven't come across anyone else who bothered speaking English save for a delivery guy who was old and deaf and frankly depressing. So, "Big deal," right? Hey Bub, YOU try getting into a tiny box where eight different languages are being spoken ever louder by conversationalists trying to be heard over the cacophony of three different (and very foreign sounding... nothing melodic like Spanish or French or Italian) of Asian languages and YOU don't think:

"Somebody ought to put a fucking gun to the heads of these... people, and force them to speak American, or at least Australian, English"

and then say I'm losing my grip on reality because I'm intolerant and/or overly sensitive or a fascist of whatever.

Let's close with an example -- a sweet woman who has been in the US for four decades or so who is the mother of a woman I know. Granted, this woman may not have spoken a word of English when she snuck across the San Ysidro Border Crossing from some tin shack squalor in central Mexico, but since she and her family have landed a pretty nice place in the San Gabriel Valley and she has raised her children, sending them to US schools where they spoke US English (and oddly never took Spanish - you don't think your average US kid wouldn't take English if he found himself in a escuela publica de Mejico? - since none of them have the first clue how to read or write it, although they can rattle it off at dizzying paces).

Well, this woman recently settled a lawsuit for a large amount of money against some third rate sexual harasser and I wanted to congratulate her (okay, "free" money and I tend to try to get together, but I'm pretty sure I had noble intentions). So I call and mama answers el telephono. I ask for the woman (who lives there), and while mama, who as far as I know is neither senile or stupid, happily acknowledged this person still lived there (I assume "Yes!!!!!" meant that, but I've been wrong before), but could only explain "No hablo Ingles" when I tried to get across the idea that I wasn't checking up on her daughter, but actually wanted her to come to the phone.

Being unprepared with something like "ĀViene a telephono?" which may or may not mean something like "Any chance I can talk to her?" I gave up with a "Gee, I don't think this is going to work out."

Hey, I could have said, "Yo' bitch! You've been in this country for half a freaking century. When some asshole asks for your daughter by name on the phone haven't you figured out it means he wants to talk to her and not hear about how you managed not to learn the language being yakked around you 24/7/52?"

But I'm polite. I just can't help wondering why if all the people in foreign countries (e.g. Elian Gonzalez' father, a poor supposedly repressed Cuban truck driver or something) can do such a good job with English why modern immigrants to the US feel no need to bother... well, most of them... and can't help wondering how fast they'd pick it up with a .44 nuzzled against their skull.

Not that I'll ever find out because this mental meandering usually takes place in a small elevator in which the people are so busy competing to speak the foreign language of the day, they probably wouldn't notice the gun... or with my luck the elevator would be stopped and invaded by a SWAT Team made up of Cambodians or something.

I suppose I could always make up my own language and see how these idiots feel when I start conversing in it with my blow up doll Li Tokusan Gonzalez Pierreitta al Hassim.