WHY NOT EVERYTHING by Butt Hirschfeld


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By setting this glib and glossy Bloomingdalerama in 1972, Hirschfeld apparently believes he won't be accused of tipping off and rehashing the now-dated Diary of a Mad Housewife clichÉ grab-bag. J'accuse. Like Kaufman's Manhattan housewife, narrator Libby has a stuffy, unimaginative-in-bed husband (""I believe that kissing should be restricted to the mouth"") and, like all those early-Seventies heroines, Libby wants to--sigh--Accomplish Something, Fulfill Herself, Get a Job. So she goes looking for work and immediately becomes the victim of sex discrimination, which leads her to the Human Rights Commission and the inevitable stud who's up on oral sex: cowboy Bubba, ""lean and mean."" Meanwhile, kitchen-sink Hirschfeld keeps setting up contrived encounters with doctors, rabbis, and blacks--so that he can do a cartoon doctor, a cartoon rabbi, and some cartoon blacks. Also a perverted dwarf, a lesbian, and Libby's repulsive mom Sybil, whom we're obviously supposed to find inspiringly chic (at least till she dies-- a sentimental sore thumb among the giddy fingers). Anyway, by the time Libby finally wins her case and finds creative employment, she's getting too sex-manualish for Bubba (""Just get on the clit and fool around""), so it's back to husband Walter, who may be sexually salvageable after all. The liberated, spunky, quippy New York-Jewish heroine strikes again? Or a biting parody (""Libby"") of the genre? Neither. Just occasionally amusing, always offensive Hirschfeld in unconvincing drag.

Pub Date: June 21st, 1978
Publisher: Morrow