'Entertainment' destroyed the human family
J.G. NASH, Of Cabbages, Of CabbagesMy recent column (suggesting that it's too late to save these United States from social and economic destruction) stimulated more comment than any other I've written in over 30 years.
Published: October 8, 2012
Published: October 8, 2012
Apparently, the column's theme (that a thoughtless, selfish, greedy majority are now addicted to government handouts, and so will vote for whichever politician promises to give them more for doing less) struck a sensitive nerve with those in that "majority," whom then responded with a relative barrage of flaming comments, which were often quite difficult to understand.
One thought in that column, which was especially targeted for ridicule, pertained to my criticism of the entertainment industry for seemingly intentionally working to destroy the American family, which had long been the foundation of the nation's success.
I'd therefore like to revisit the subject, looking briefly at four of television's situation comedies; three of which well illustrate the pattern of attacking traditional families, thus setting the stage for a weakened society, which would eventually accept government control of their degenerate, uninspired, and unrewarding lives.
Father Knows Best (1968-79) featured a traditional family of loving and caring parents and the then-typical 3 children. Those wholesome shows always involved challenges, trials, and tribulations facing most families of the times; they always ended with a happy resolution to those problems, along with an obviously stronger, happier, and healthier family.
The father was the central figure: wise, patient, well-educated, loving, and caring; he provided their medical insurance, insurance on his life, and a fund for his wife, to help her after he passed away. The feminine mother was the conscience, the heart, and the soul of the family; she made a house a home, and filled it with love and compassion. The three children were inquisitive, studied well in school, pushed the social envelope slightly, while giving thoughtful consideration to advice from their parents and other adults – especially their teachers.
Families such as those were the building blocks of what, between 1940 and 1960, became the greatest nation on Earth.
I must point out that, in that time period: workplace and theater shootings were unknown, as were road rage and similar social explosions; only a trivial number of persons were on welfare; most everyone self-provided for his family's economic security, including healthcare, emergencies, and retirement; "d-i-v-o-r-c-e" was a disgrace, rather than a badge of progressive morals; there were only a couple of sexually-transmitted diseases (not the dozen or so that we deal with in these enlightened times); fornication, sexual crimes, child pregnancies, and bastard children were essentially unheard of (even if existing in small numbers); and we used a pot to cook with, rather than to drug immature minds. Yes, father knew best, families were strong, supportive, and wholesome; the evidence was there for all to see — but not all wanted to.
The arrival of television's popular, situation comedy, All in the Family (1968-79), heralded what now appears to have been a concerted effort by irrational, spaced-out liberals to undermine and destroy the successful, traditional, American family. It appeared on the small screen at a time when children born and raised during the liberal excesses of postwar America were graduating from high school, and setting off to "find themselves" (i.e., an excuse to experiment with violation of any, and all, time-tested and validated social rules and mores).
In a seismic shift of theme, the family became one headed by a poorly educated, narrow-minded, bigoted man, whose wife was a lovable air-head. The only seemingly intelligent member of that dysfunctional family was their insightful daughter, whose boy friend was a college-educated, liberal, drop-out, hippie.
In this family series, the children have become the conscience and saviors of less capable, out-of-touch parents, whom are more harmful than helpful to their offspring. The seeds of family destruction have sprouted, along with a legion of illegitimate children, clinics for hop-heads, and a quantum leap in welfare applications. I admit to having watched, and enjoyed that series, but I was not, in any way, affected by the destructive, insidious message.
Happy Days (1974-84) featured a family of the era (the Cunninghams), headed by bumbling parents bewildered by rapidly changing times. Then, along came Fonzie, a very cool teenager, whom appeared to have been raised without a family. Somehow in that process "the Fonz" was endowed with extraordinary intelligence and powers, which he used to effortlessly guide his adopted family (the Cunninghams), through troubled waters.
Message there was: if you're cool and young, you can help those "oldsters" get through life without suffering from too many avoidable mistakes. Successful families should be headed by cool 18 year olds.
About 14 years after Happy Days was seen to be out of touch with the times (1998-2006), along came That 70s Show, which centered on the Forman family, headed by acceptable, but generally incompetent parents ("Red" and "Kitty," rather than "Mr." and "Mrs.")
The Forman children regularly brought home a mixed bag of teen-aged friends, whom, using their intuitive intelligence and wisdom, faced, and solved, any and all of the problems encountered by children of the times; occasionally they even found time to educate their harmless-but-clueless parents. This show was about children raising themselves in homes provided and furnished by parents, but guided and ruled by wiser and more-capable teenagers.
Television's seemingly intentional destruction of the family as a vital and functional social unit reached its zenith with the introduction of Family Guy, in 1999 (still being produced today). In this admittedly well made, and sometimes amusing, cartoon, the family father is a fat, flatulent, boob, with a somewhat more intelligent (and sexier) wife, whom also does not rule, nor even slightly control, the obviously dysfunctional family. The most intelligent person in the family is an infant, still in diapers, who's easily able to build a working, time machine. The baby's only potential mental equal is a talking dog, which is sexually attracted to the family's wife. The message?
Families are a farce; and the younger one is, the more intelligent and wise he may be. There's lots of gratuitous and perverted sex in this "family" show, along with buckets of blood and gore, as even the baby blows others apart with a shotgun.
With such television shows as models, is it any surprise that parents have little or no control over their children; that social diseases are as common as a head cold, and more babies born out of wedlock than legitimately; that more than half of our population lives off welfare; or that someone would dress up in a weird costume and sprays bullets around inside a packed movie theater?
Hope that helps to clear things up: Clearly, wisdom doesn't come with age and experience: it's instilled in the womb (but not by the mother or father), and reaches full flower at about age 15; then mysteriously disappears when one has children of his own. So if it feels good, do it! Don't worry, because big government will take care of you, so you don't need regular parents or old-fashioned families, and can therefore ignore them when they become bothersome.
Could things possibly get any better?
Of Cabbages and Kings is a syndicated column by j.g.nash. Relevant comment may be sent to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.