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All Those Isms Haven’t Changed

Ann Landers Creators Syndicate

Dear Ann Landers: I have read definitions of conservatives and liberals sent in by your readers. I hope you will print the enclosed copy of “isms,” which was passed around by students in my history class in Tekoa, Wash., in 1942.

I believe these definitions are still applicable today and may help young people understand the various types of governments in the world. - Rosalia, Wash.

Dear Rosalia: It’s amazing to me that the article you sent was written over 50 years ago. Thanks for sharing. Some of those “isms” fit today.

Socialism: You have two cows. Give one cow to your neighbor.

Communism: You have two cows. Give both cows to the government, and they may give you some of the milk.

Fascism: You have two cows. You give all of the milk to the government, and the government sells it.

Nazism: You have two cows. The government shoots you and takes both of the cows.

Anarchism: You have two cows. Keep both of the cows, shoot the government agent and steal another cow.

Capitalism: You have two cows. Sell one cow and buy a bull.

Dear Ann Landers: Your letter to Arnold Schwarzenegger was right on target regarding actors using tobacco in publicity photos. I have enclosed an ad for the movie “The First Wives’ Club” that shows all three female stars smoking cigars. Whose idea was that?

Did you see the episode of Brooke Shields’ TV show in which the plot involved her learning to smoke cigars? Have you seen the doctors on “Chicago Hope” light up in their offices at the hospital? How about the actors on “Seinfeld”? Did you see the movies “Reality Bites” and “She’s the One,” in which all the young adult characters smoke?

I have been working in the field of smoking prevention long enough to believe that very little that has to do with tobacco is a coincidence. I wonder how those tobacco products end up in the prop department. Who calls for the characters to be smokers? And even if it IS a coincidence, is it really necessary to have all these people smoking? Are the directors aware of the message they are sending to our youth? Do they care? I don’t think so. - Janet Lilienthal, director, Tobacco Control Program, Needham, Mass.

Dear Janet Lilienthal: You are right on when you say, “Very little having to do with tobacco happens by coincidence.”

The product placement department (yes, it actually exists) is very clever about putting certain products in the hands of actors and actresses in a way that appears to be uncontrived. Meanwhile, the tobacco industry is hard at work behind the scenes.

Danny DeVito, another hero of mine, just got crossed off my list when I saw a full-page ad in which he was featured smoking a great big cigar.

Dear Ann Landers: “Embarrassed by the View” wrote that women wearing short skirts should not cross their legs when they sit on a raised platform or stage. Tell him to mind his own business. Some people enjoy the view. If they didn’t, those girlie magazines wouldn’t be selling millions of copies every month. - Metairie, La.

Dear Metairie: Thanks for the input.

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