represent a Massachusetts district? Thenrepeated references to John Kennedynought to answer that. As for character,nafter watching 14 hours of Kris Kristofferson’snimpression of Buster Keaton,nsome viewers might have thoughtnthe show was really Night of the LivingnDead.nThe most engaging characters are anKGB colonel and a Russian general,nboth of whom express great angst fornthe poor Americans who don’t actuallynsuffer much more than they did undernJimmy Carter. The general goes so farnas to shoot himself after performing anpublic service (the much-heraldednmassacre of the Congress—the traitorsnwho turned the country over in thenfirst place). As our Russian comradesnwould say, it is no accident that SamnNeill, the KGB colonel, puts in thenonly creditable performance. Who arenthe bad guys? Germans and Americansn—who else?nAmerika is, in fact, a very left-wingnproduction. Accepting the premisenthat the USSR, which can’t even holdnAfghanistan, could take over West Virginia,nmuch less the U.S., the producersnhave done everything possible tonexonerate our noble adversaries. Therenare vague references to labor campsnand a Gulag, but the leader of thenopposition is set free, and even after henemerges as a popular hero, Sam Neillnprevents his American colleagues fromnkilling him. The whole thing mightnhave been scripted by The Nation. Younsee, there are many nice Russians,nespecially soldiers and KGB officers,nand if we don’t play ball with them,nthe mean guys in the Kremlin will getnnasty. If I were in the KGB, I would bensuing ABC for defamation of character.nCompared with other books on thensame subject, Amerika is a whitewashnof the Soviet Union and its intentions.nWhat to Do When the Russians Come,nfor example, is a sometimes humorous,nwell-researched prediction thatnspecifies extermination of liberals andnsocialists among the first acts of thenoccupying force. More interesting,nperhaps, is a comparison with PaulinenWinslow’s I, Martha Adams, first publishednin Britain in 1982 and in thenU.S. in 1984, There are enough similaritiesnto suggest that ABC was asnmuch inspired by Winslow as by BennStein’s scenario outline, althoughnStein would be the first to take whateverncredit there is. (In fact, the networkncontacted Winslow about the book.)nIn I, Martha Adams, the Soviets takenover America with the assistance of thenUN. There are other resemblances toonnumerous to mention (e.g., the role ofnthe media in alerting the masses), butnthe differences are striking. Winslow’snnovel has patriotic Americans battiingnoppressive Russians; softness andnmeekness are shown as debilitating;nCommunism is inherently evil, andnfinally Winslow’s novel is entertaining,nunlike Amerika, which sets out tonprove that anti-Communism is dull.nI ‘•’ffi’i? jnSome years back there was a madefor-TVnmovie (and series) which didnaddress the subject of Soviet occupation.nIn V, red-uniformed “visitors”nfrom outer space arrive offering humanitariannaid, which includes a curenfor cancer. Accidentally, some Americansndiscover that under their plasticnhuman faces, the visitors are reptilesnwho feed on human flesh and arenplanning to use the earth as a giantnfood processing plant. Among the resistancenleaders is a militant thug fromnthe CIA who cold-bloodedly kills thenvisitors wherever he finds them. Reproachednby his colleagues, he (playednwonderfully by Michael Ironside) explains,n”1 may bring down the neighborhood,nbut at least I don’t eat it.”nNow, that’s anti-Soviet television.n(TF)nnnThe divorce rate and the Federal deficit,nboth manageably small just 30nyears ago, now seem locked in a feverishnrace upward. It is hard to say whichnis the gloomier statistic: a 50 percentnfailure rate among American marriagesnor a $2 trillion debt for the Federalngovernment. No one seems to knownjust what to do about the divorce rate,nbut a few congressmen are cautiouslynsuggesting that the Federal deficitnmight be reduced through raisingntaxes. So why not enact a nationalndivorce tax?nAfter all, in not taxing divorce, lawmakersnare passing up a lot of availablentax money. In 1986 alone there werenwell over one million divorces in thenUnited States. Why, in San Diego onenjudge has now taken to divorcing couplesnby the roomful! And since divorcingncouples already have their walletsn(and purses) open to pay the lawyers,nwhy shouldn’t the tax man step rightnup for a share of household assets?nSome might object to a divorce taxnon the grounds that people whoncouldn’t afford to pay the tax would benunfairly locked in bad marriages. Butnthis objection could easily be overcomenby making the divorce tax steeplynprogressive, like the old Federalnincome tax. Poor separating couplesnwould pay almost nothing in divorcentax, while rich couples would paynthrough the nose.nUnder the proposed tax, real deficitnreduction would finally be achieved bynat least some lawmakers—those who,nwhile in Washington, split with theirnspouses to marry their worshipful secretaries.nBy making the proposed taxnretroactive for politicians, we could atnlast get bipartisan deficit reductionnfrom Teddy Kennedy and Bob Dole.nThe proposed tax would also give usna new reason to be grateful for Hollywood.nUnless actors and actressesnchanged their behavior—an unlikelynpossibility—their huge box-office incomesnwould quickly be diverted intonour depleted national treasury. ElizabethnTaylor alone could have wipednout three or four weeks of Federalndeficits! People like Sylvester Stallonenand Farrah Fawcett may fail as publicnmodels of marital stability, but wencould then hold them up as exemplarynpatriots, cutting the national deficit fornthe next generation. And with the helpnof National Enquirer, Federal taxnMAY 1987/7n