A La Recherche Du Temps StupideCommentary • ISSUE 35•22 • Jun 9, 1999 By T. Herman Zweibel, Publisher Emeritus (photo circa 1911) I was recently informed that the Twentieth-Century is nearly at an end, which astonishes me, because it seems like just yesterday that I was toasting its genesis in New-York's Winter Garden with Harry Houdini, Stanford White, the Floradora Girls, and Mutt & Jeff. Well, I hope you bastards all had fun this century, because I spent the latter half of it confined to a dank, fetid bed-chamber while having my urethra scraped. My rotten son M. Prescott, who pretends to "edit" The Onion, but instead whiles away his hours in an opium-den in the Limehouse district, has recommended that I occasionally republish a favorite Message of particular historic importance, as a way to commemorate the passing century. It is like that wit-less oaf to suggest such a ludicrous thing. How am I to select a handful of favorite columns when each practically pisses brilliance? Also, I hate to repeat my-self. I like to think that I vary the subject-matter of my columns enough to keep them interesting. For example, I assiduously restrict my-self to writing about my enormous goiters no more than three times a year. But I am thinking I would like to take a nap now, so perhaps I will reprint an excerpt from a past column to-day. Standish has been kind enough to retrieve it from my vast archives, and although I can't recall ever having written it, I must admit it's pretty damn impressive. It's from 1926, and it's titled "Give Fascism A Chance": Imagine a country where a man can be his own boss and, more importantly, the boss of others. Where a man can design his own paramilitary out-fit, wear tall leather boots, and goose-step down city streets with nary a word of complaint or public ridicule. A place where "fear" is the watch-word, where the press is a mouth-piece for certain political and oligarchal interests, and strident nationalism is force-fed to the populace with a giant iron eye-dropper. I know what you are thinking: "It sounds too good to be true. The fanciful fairy-land of which Zweibel speaks can be found only in nursery rhymes and children's story-books." But I am happy to say that not only does such a utopia exist; it can be found in the modern Italy of Benito Mussolini. O, I was such a coltish day-dreamer back then. Always imagining castles in the sky and what-not. I would sigh wistfully, if I still had my lungs.