Hamilton Burger and Perry Mason
I’d the chances of a good chunk of readers that remember the old Perry Mason show of the 1950s and early 60s are few. More of you may remember the Perry Mason movies of the 1980s and early 90s that ended roughly with the death of the Perry Mason star Raymond Burr. The one recurring theme of Perry Mason was that he always won the real justice for his accused client and that the Prosecutor always lost in a good way. It was good because the accused was always innocent. In the 50s and 60s that Prosecutor was Hamilton Burger played by William Talman. Burger always lost but that was the real justice. Even so after years of losing I was one that felt sorry for old Hamilton. One almost felt bad when he lost – again and again. But predictability is what made Perry Mason good – right always prevailed and real justice occurred.
Norma Zager uses the Perry Mason paradigm in an illustration of Leftist injustice wishing real justice would prevail.
Will Hamilton Berger Ever Learn? I Hope Not!
By Norma Zager
Sent: 6/23/2014 11:35 AM
“Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.” Alfred A. Montapert
How can a society that disdains lawyers and creates lawyer jokes have been so enamored of Perry Mason?
Now an icon, Raymond Burr’s character was an instant legend with television watchers. Even the reruns are popular and continue today. So what was it about Erle Stanley Gardner’s character that made loyal fans tune in week after week to see Hamilton Berger humiliated and embarrassed?
That’s just it. Hamilton was.
There is something in human nature that craves a certain amount of predictability. Even those who claim to exist in a world without conformity remain safe in the knowledge a certain degree of predictability is out there.
In today’s world when humankind must face yet another frightening revelation threatening our very existence, it is more important than ever to embrace a “safe place.”
That “place” is different for everyone. Some seek solace in sports. Others, and I know so many of these, shop until they drop in a designer-induced coma. There are cocktails, chocolates and travel to far away spots. Hobbies and books, including comics with superheroes we can depend on to beat the bad guys, that distract us from the horrible news emanating from the television and newspapers.
When we stop and think about all the ways we are threatened each day, and the future threats that await us as the insane and evil players of the world grow stronger and more adept as killers, we feel a bit off balance. We need to know that we are protected and out of harm’s way.
Americans have been quite spoiled in this regard. Two world wars were fought on distant shores. Our homeland with the exception of Pearl Harbor remained relatively untouched.
That all changed on 9/11 when the U.S. was attacked not simply on our own turf, but in a city that holds a special place in everyone’s heart. Broadway, Seventh Avenue, Lady Liberty, it all seemed more egregious and personal somehow. And the enemy was well aware.
What we didn’t know was that although Ugly Americans was a phrase with which we had become familiar over the years, we always believed we were safe being one. Safe in the knowledge, that aside from the snide comments of French waiters, we could roam the world in as peaceful a manner as a citizen of the ancient Roman Empire.
We never imagined our CIA, FBI and our government could let us down so completely.
They had done so before, but somehow we just didn’t pay enough attention. In 1963 an FBI agent had Oswald in his sights and dismissed him. Had that FBI agent been on the ball, America would be a different place today. This is only one incident of which we are actually aware.
Yet, no one ever talks about that failure or the part fate may have played in John Kennedy’s destiny. So one should not blame, I suppose.
I am not in any way dismissing the good work agencies do every day heading off our enemies. They are human and will make mistakes like 9/11, but I am however no longer able to live with a certainty of safety.
That no one can hurt us or that Jack Nicolson is on “that wall.”
Americans seem to be faced with a new lesson to learn, one that the English and Europeans have known for centuries, a tea party isn’t simply a tea party. When Lewis Carroll wrote about the Mad Hatter, perhaps he alluded to all of us. It’s a valuable lesson we have come too late, but after all we are a young country. Life must be lived every minute for war is always eminent.
Israel lives with the knowledge some crazy may enter a pizza restaurant and blow themselves up. Americans saw those violent pictures and we shook our heads and wondered, how do they live like that? We watch as three young Israelis are kidnapped at a bus stop on their way home for the weekend and remain missing.
Sadly, we as well are now living in that same pond of treachery and evil.
Veterans dismissed and dying to ensure profitable employee bonuses, the dog ate my homework excuses for missing emails that may indict politicians who crossed the line. Terrorists returned while an American marine sits in a Mexican jail, while they laugh at us while cashing our checks. Sadly, the list goes on and on.
Our borders are wide open for that one crazy to walk through undetected with the weapon we have feared most.
Our government chooses political correctness over the safety of our children.
It is so interesting to me that they our government is so worried about prisoners’ civil rights, yet they find the stomach to spy on Americans and usurp our civil rights with no problem at all.
In the end we must face the reality that we are now vulnerable and our government and those who are elected to protect us are not in any way up to the job. Even those who stand watch consistently have their hands tied in the name of politics.
We watch with no recourse, no ability to even slow the madness let alone stop it altogether. So where can we find the extra measure of predictability required to live our lives, find joy and sleep nights?
I am honestly not quite sure, but I know everyone must seek out his or her own way of coping with the insanity of this new world.
Oh yes, I am aware there is nothing new about having to coexist with evil, but somehow it just seems evil is doing much better for itself these days.
Well, it’s time for me to turn on Perry and watch poor Hamilton Berger lose yet another case. You’d think the man would learn, but no, he is the coyote chasing the roadrunner and expecting to catch him just once.
Good luck with that, Hamilton, and thank you, Perry Mason for giving me something constant and predictable on this all-too-insane and out-of-control planet.
Whatever you may need to ensure predictability in your life, I hope you find it soon. Cause the crazies aren’t going anywhere and the United States government has openly invited them to the tea party. Perhaps we should elect the Mad Hatter president. At least he clearly displayed who he was in full view on his hat.
Norma Zager is an award-winning investigative journalist and author. Her passion for Israel has driven her to dedicate the past decade writing and having a radio show about Israel.
This is the latest in the series “Postcards from America – Postcards from Israel,” a collaboration between Zager and Bussel, a foreign correspondent reporting from Israel.
Ari Bussel and Norma Zager collaborate both in writing and on the air in a point-counter-point discussion of all things Israel-related. Together, they have dedicated the past decade to promoting Israel.
© Israel Monitor, June 2014
First Published June 22, 2014