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Sunday, January 23, 2005


What's Happening?

As I sit here snowbound, waiting for my moustache to thaw out from my last trek outside—and I’m being literal here, the goddamn thing actually gathers ice crystals in weather like this—I’m taking a look at the news on Salon and I’m thinking how much nicer it would be if we all lived in an 80s sitcom.

Who would you like to have making decisions about the directions of our country? Do you want the Crawford Cretin with his finger on the button? Or would you rather have Charles in Charge? Personally, I think Mr. Baio’s gentle good sense, even in light of the wacky schemes of Willie Aimes, would guide our nation in the right direction.

In a world where reality television teaches us that we should form alliances of convenience with people we can then turn on when it’s advantageous for us, where is there a better example of true friendship than in the bond of camaraderie between Balki and Larry? If an uptight Chicagoan and a backward sheep-farmer from Mypos can live together for seven years, even marrying their upstairs neighbors in a double wedding and apparently not moving into new apartments, why is it increasingly difficult for us to reach out to others?

And there’s certainly no better bastion of strong, loving families of all sorts than the 80s sitcom. From the sassy but loving family of 227 to the single father struggling to reconnect with his son on Silver Spoons, sitcoms taught us that the bond of blood is stronger than the pull of gangs or the lure of the popular clique at school who wanted us to steal a multi-colored sweater from The Fashion Bag as our initiation test. From today’s families, we learn that growing up the child of a successful recording artist or a billionaire hotel tycoon means that you can crap on everyone around you and be a gigantic whore.

I know that 80s sitcoms don’t have all the answers. Monroe on Too Close for Comfort never had to deal with HIV. Tony never got the idea to file sexual harassment charges against Angela on Who’s the Boss. I know that. I also know that, if Benson were Secretary of State, he’d have stood up to George W. instead of shilling for a misguided war.

It’s all too depressing. I guess I just want to go where everybody knows my name.

Great post.
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