Ever read Trilby by George Du Marier? If not, put it on your list. Trilby introduces us to the character of Svengali (not to be confused with Svengoolie) who, years before Lamont Cranston, was successful in clouding men’s (and especially women’s) minds and getting them to do all sorts of nefarious things. When I was about fifteen I too considered studying mesmerism as a means to control the minds of nubile young girls down at the beach. Of course it never worked and my reward was sadly to wear a towel around my waist most of the day. Puberty was hard.
John Oliver may be strident thumping his desk-top and maintains an assuredly British viewpoint but he is spot on in his analysis and conclusions about the problems in this country (not to mention being extremely funny). Last Week Tonight is absolutely my favorite program on the television and since I tend to only watch three shows each week, that places Oliver in the spotlight. But he shouldn’t get too cocky since one of the other two is Svengoolie.
One thing that Oliver is successful doing is to reach his audience and get some form of action. In past weeks he has ignited email campaigns, gotten government officials to acknowledge his criticism, and now even has gotten the local officials in Saginaw, Michigan, to decommission their obscene and clearly unnecessary military vehicle. The local news said that it was because an HBO comedy show made fun of them … ya think?