BEN STEIN’S GRATITUDE
Ben Stein has a touching 4th of July tribute piece in USA Today. This anecdote is representative:
About seven years ago, I sat in the makeup room for the TV show Seinfeld. The makeup artists were telling Jerry Seinfeld how talented he is and how lucky the world is to have his talent on their TV screens. I added that Seinfeld himself was unbelievably lucky to have been born in America when he was. One of the makeup artists told me rather tartly that Seinfeld was so talented that he would have been a huge success no matter where he was born or when.
“No,” I said. “If he had been born a little Jewish boy in Poland in 1930, and had stayed there, he would have been gassed or shot. If he had been just as talented as he is, anywhere in Eastern or Central Europe anywhere near the start of World War II, in all likelihood, he would have never survived to show the world his talent. It is only in America, with its limitless opportunities for everyone, that Jerry’s talent could reach the world the way it has.”
My recollection is that Jerry looked levelly at me for a few moments and then said, “Amen.”
Something worth remembering, to be sure.