What follows is a reprint of an early “The Berman Comment,” the roots of today’s “Berman’s Bits.” It appears word for word – the good, the bad, and the ugly – warts and all from my Graduate School days at Plymouth State College. If nothing else, it provides a look at the world of 1977 and some of the things that were on my mind back them. Who was it who said, “The more things change…”?
September 29, 1977
the berman comment
The time and conditions are finally right for the unveiling of this year’s first Berman Comment, a series of questions, observations, and, of course, comments on the state of anything and everything around us. So, without further ado…according to the FDA (just think of the fun you can have making up your own words for those initials), the chocolate we buy may, by law, contain up to 60 microscopic insect fragments per 3.5 ounce sample, or up to 4 rodent hairs.
I wish I could say I was kidding, but I’m not…if that doesn’t scare you, Charles Manson is eligible for parole in 1978, and that’s for real, too…if you haven’t noticed, boxing is making a tremendous comeback on TV. The past two weeks alone have seen some eight or nine matches, and the newest “big one” appears tomorrow (Thursday) night: Ali vs. Shavers. When Shavers beats Ali, remember that you read it here first…and speaking of boxing, it’s amazing to think Bob Hope is a former fighter. Speaking of former vocations, Leslie Lynch King, Jr. (aka Gerald R. Ford) used to be a male model…ease my mind, please.Assure me that none of you are now buying Schlitz Light beer just because James Coburn nods and signals his approval. You’d be surprised how many people are…after investigating various ways to dispose of useless TV commercials (almost all of them), I had to scrap one idea because there are already well over 4,000 objects (satellites, junk, etc.) currently orbiting the earth…did any of you ever wonder what the shortest-lived national TV series was? I didn’t think so….for what it’s worth, both Robert F. Kennedy’s and Janis Joplin’s brains weighed the same after death: 51.15 ounces….during its 5-year run, “I Dream of Jeannie” was never allowed to show Barbara Eden’s navel. Pity….thanks to Channel 9 for bringing back The Avengers, Monday nights….last year I discovered the Plymouth Players and black on white. I hope this year and the ones to follow will be a further continuation of their fine work….most of us have heard of the phenomenal crowds vying to view the treasures of King Tut (I said most of us). But did you know that the best available knowledge shows he was 18-years old when he died? And Joan of Arc was 19. How old are you, and what have you done yet?….when I saw Star Wars for the second time, there was a young boy sitting beside me who was constantly asking his older brother (probably 12 or 13) a steady stream of questions about what things meant, why something was happening, and so on. His brother did his best to explain with only occasional help from yours truly. What I’d like to know is where this wonderful thirst for knowledge in kids disappears to as one grows into his teens….as Chrysler tells us, “Hey, we got success for sale.” Yeah, their own….does buying a paperback book with a cigarette ad stuck in its middle bother anybody else?….can anyone think of one issue in the world today that everyone could agree on?….hey, win or lose, Red Sox, thanks for some truly fantastic games this season; it was exciting….one company’s ad claims, “Your car’s engine couldn’t ask for a better anti-freeze.” If it could, I’d have the world’s first talking car….is that anything like asking any mermaid I happen to see? I just haven’t seen too many….and Exxon’s big commercial selling point is that they’ll say “Thanks for coming by today.” Have things gotten so impolite today that a company has to advertise they’ll say thank you?….yeah, my pet peeve is advertising. Generally speaking, it is the most dishonest, misleading field I can think of, except, perhaps,, for the world of politics….well, that’s it for now. Hang in there; I’ll be back. Soon.