A recent visit to an old American friend whose house stands on the outskirts of a small Sussex village, proved more entertaining than usual. He had a new companion, an African grey parrot he called Hollywood.
When asked how he arrived at such a name for a parrot, he said the bird had much in common with the people of the place. “You have to watch when we have visitors. He flaunts his plumage to his audience and struts around thriving on the attention while he chatters out his lines, ‘Hello, how are you. Welcome to my house. Please sit down. Make yourself at home’. You see, he says just what he has been taught to say. There’s nothing creative, he just remembers his lines and poses. He’s a great little actor.”
We sat watching the bird as he cracked open Brazil nuts with his incredibly powerful jaws. “While there are fundamental similarities, there’s one huge difference: my Hollywood is content with his nuts and seeds while over there they command millions for reciting their lines and posing.” He seemed a little angry.
“Well the last lot seemed set on dragging the United States down from the great country it was, and that’s why I got out. That Obama guy seemed to come from nowhere and suddenly he’s president. Now there’s a movement to improve the country, this Hollywood lot have the temerity to attack common sense and our democracy by tearing down the elected president. They have no greater intellect than than our feathered friend here. The script writer tells them what to say and their director tells them what to do, but off screen they have too much influence particularly over youth.”
“I call them ‘The little parrot people’. Someone’s behind them telling what to say, or else…”