July 24th, 2014

The undeserving poor

The phenomenon was mocked in “My Fair Lady” but its origins predated that, in “Pygmalion,” Shaw’s play from which “My Fair Lady” and this speech of Alfred Doolittle’s was taken. Isn’t it interesting that, despite writing this, Shaw was a Fabian Socialist?

Here’s how the undeserving Doolittle ends up:

Be careful what you wish for, “That’s the tragedy of it, Eliza.”

13 Responses to “The undeserving poor”

  1. kcom Says:

    I think there’s a typo in the title, where the word is spell under-serving (without the hyphen, of course). Unless there’s a play on words that’s sailing right over my head.

  2. kcom Says:

    is spelled (ha, ha, a typo)

  3. Matt_SE Says:

    Title error: “underserving poor.”
    Is that when your waitress is really, really slow?

  4. jvermeer Says:

    Caring about the poor is very different than telling us you care about the poor. Liberalism is really about the latter.

  5. BurkeanMama Says:

    Caring about the poor has never been the object of socialism. Absolute power for the great socialist minds which know better than the rest of us is and always has been the point. The poor are for socialists what the human shield is for Hamas.

    The middle class liberals I know, make great speeches about caring about the poor. What they really mean is that other middle class people should subsidy the and their wants.

  6. neo-neocon Says:


    🙂 . Thanks, will fix.

  7. parker Says:

    In an era of earned income tax credits, EBT cards, free phones, rent assistance, utility assistance, food banks, etc there are extremely few people in our society who suffer because they are poor. Those who do suffer, suffer because they make bad choices.

  8. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.

  9. artfldgr Says:

    Isn’t it interesting that, despite writing this, Shaw was a Fabian Socialist?

    the whole of it is a story that your genetics and such matter not, but that if one changes the circumstances and such of anothers enviornment, they change and so, environment is what makes you you, not your genes and so forth

    a cannon of the left is the whole of it…
    and one should study the method and construction of such things for consumption and how they work, or else all one is doing is discussing how whateer it is, isnt how you imagine it, and are so then confused.

  10. Paul in Boston Says:

    Undeserving, proud of it, and very clear eyed about the cant attached to good works: http://youtu.be/pq28qCklEHcl

  11. Paul in Boston Says:

    Whoops! http://youtu.be/pq28qCklEHc

  12. DaveindeSwamp Says:

    Lenin had utter contempt for the poor but realized they were quite useful to play on guilt, even back then .

  13. IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." Says:

    Why in God’s name would you expose people to a wretchedly badly done piece of tripe like My Fair Lady instead of using footage from Pygmalion?

    MFL is horrid. First off, taking the dialogue of Shaw, generally argued as the second greatest playwright in the history of modern English (Shakespeare being the undebated #1) and corrupting both his words and its rhythms in order to shoehorn music into it is beyond retarded.

    Second, it’s just disgustingly miscast on virtually every level, even more so when compared to the spectacular casting of Pygmalion.

    Audrey Hepburn is just so blatantly wrong as Eliza Doolittle it’s not funny. Yes, she’s utterly gorgeous. She’s TOO gorgeous. Anyone thinks for a moment, they’ll realize that she could NEVER be a guttersnipe. Anyone can take one look at her and know that if they would wipe even a single smudge of dirt off her face with a spit-wetted hankie, it would be unavoidably obvious that she’s gorgeous. Contrast that with Wendy Hiller, who has an unusual face and does a perfect job of playing “both sides” of that coin.

    But it doesn’t stop there — Rex Harrison is downright vile as Higgins, he clearly does not grasp anything that the man is about, playing Higgins as a cold, emotionless fish. Leslie Howard, on the other hand, completely understood what Higgins was about, he was a very, very passionate man who has sublimated his intense passions into a love for language. And when Eliza becomes the embodiment of his passions, he falls for her completely.

    And the rest of the casting is the same — Wilfred Lawson is a charming delight as Eliza’s father, he looks slovenly and as though he belongs in the gutter, until he, too, gets cleaned up by circumstance, and finds misery in responsibility. Lawson’s speech as he attempts to shakedown Higgins is flat out marvelous.

    Even Freddie, played by David Tree, is a perfect nebbish — exactly right for the character — compared with Jeremy Brett’s far too good looking overdressed boytoy:

    David Tree:

    Jeremy Brett

    And that’s really part of it — MFL is too damned PRETTY everywhere. EVERYONE is too clean, too good looking, even the “wretched poor” are far better looking than they ought to be.

    Sorry, MFL is a horrid movie. Give me The Music Man, or even The Sound of Music, if you want to promote that era’s musicals. MFL is just bad.


Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

Monthly Archives


Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

Regent Badge