The United States, as most readers and investors know, went through a trying time from 2001 to 2008, and it is only now showing signs of recovery from its many serious economic, social and fiscal problems.
In the past, the United States generally found ways to solve its problems, and the view from here argues that the nation, in doing so once again, will in the process form a more-perfect union.
Moreover, while today's late-night talk show hosts David Letterman and Jeno Leno do a good job of providing comic relief, they'd probably agree that the nation could use a little Julius -- as in comedian Julius Henry Groucho Marx (1890-1977).
Arguably the greatest comedian of the modern era, Groucho Marx, who made his mark both in films with his brothers, The Marx Brothers, and as a stand-up comedian, was the master of witty, sharp one-liners and renowned, legendary retorts to hecklers and others who were foolishly brave, and who thought they could out-think the master.
Groucho: The Master
It's been said that the cigar-biting, mustachioed Groucho was the only stand-up comedian who never needed an audience's approval. Most comedians yearn for the audience to laugh, applaud -- and most of all -- accept them.
Groucho's stance? If you laugh, fine. If you don't, well, to hell with you.
Groucho was that self-assured and that good.
Therefore, without further adieu, a few comments from the unforgettable Groucho:
I never wanted to be a part of a club that would have me as a member.
I didn't like the play, but then again I saw it under adverse conditions -- the curtain was up.
You know, young man, I never forget a face, but in your case, I'll make an exception.
Do you know young man that you have a face that was made for radio?
I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
I'm not feeling very well -- I need a doctor immediately. Ring the nearest golf course.
Any man who thinks he can see through a woman ... is missing an awful lot.
One morning, I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas, I'll never know.
During his senior years, Groucho, from time to time, used to appear on NBC's The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Carson was, of course, known for wearing the latest blazer or sport jacket.
Groucho would come on the show, take a seat on the couch next to Carson and say, Johnny, now keep that sport jacket you're wearing -- that's coming back in.
[Groucho hugging a pretty woman.] Hold me closer, closer, the pretty woman says.
Groucho: If I hold you any closer, I'll be in back of you.
Where Groucho grew up, in New York City, he encountered anti-Semitism. Later, as an adult, he moved to Hollywood, Calif., where he encountered ... more anti-Semitism.
Groucho wanted to join a Southern California country club, but the club said it did not permit Jews to join.
Well listen, Groucho said. My daughter is half-Jewish. Does that mean she can swim in the country club's pool up to her waist?
Late in his career, Groucho hosted a quiz show called You Bet Your Life. An attractive young woman once appeared on the show as a contestant, and Groucho asked her about her goals in life.
Oh, just the usual things -- prove I can stand on my own two feet, and start a family, she said.
Groucho, bug-eyed, staring at the camera, with the audience's laughter already building as they know full-well what's ahead, said the following:
Well, Groucho said. I don't know how you expect to ever start a family if you're standing up on your two feet all the time.
[Groucho giving a speech at a dinner.] Ladies and gentleman, I want you to know that I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. Tonight wasn't it, but I've had a perfectly wonderful evening.
Thank you, Groucho, for all the laughs then, and now.