Ism-mania

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Grandpa: Penny why don't you write a play about ism-mania?

Penny: Ism-mania?

Grandpa: Yeah, sure, you know – communism, fascism, voodooism. Everybody's got an ism these days.

Penny: I feel like I've got this itch or something.

Grandpa: It's just as catching. When things go a little bad nowadays, you go out and get yourself an ism and you're in business.

Penny: I've got it! It might help Cynthia to have an ism in the monastery!

Grandpa: It might at that. Only give her Americanism. Let her know something about Americans: John Paul Jones, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Washington, Jefferson, Monroe, Lincoln, Grant, Lee, Edison, Mark Twain. When things got tough for those boys, they didn't run around looking for isms. Lincoln said, “With malice toward none, with charity for all.” Nowadays they say, “Think the way I do, or I'll bomb the daylights out of you.”

Robert Riskin, 1938

From the film You Can't Take It With You