Growing Up in Queens
Although we didn’t speak when I saw Norman Lear at Norman Lloyd’s 104th birthday bash, it reminded me of his most memorable series, “All in the Family.”
Had we spoken, I would have asked Lear — who, even at 96, openly despises conservatives — if he appreciates the irony of having created the most endearing conservative to have ever appeared in a TV series. That would have been “All in the Family’s” patriarch, Archie Bunker, whose only rival would have been Michael J. Fox’s Alex Keaton on “Family Ties.”
Based loosely on an English series called “Till Death Do Us Part,” Lear’s sitcom family consisted of Archie, his wife Edith, daughter Gloria and her husband, Michael Stivic.
The irony is that Carroll O'Connor portrayed Archie as a buffoon who mangled the language and harbored stereotypical beliefs about blacks and Jews, whom he referred to as Hebes. But he loved his family so much that he put up with having an ungrateful son-in-law who constantly berated him over his prejudices in spite of the fact that Archie fed him and kept a roof over his head.
Although Archie was portrayed as an Irish-American, Lear based him on his own Jewish father, who was apparently given to telling his wife to “stifle.”
I always wondered how Lear felt about creating a bigot who managed to worm his way into the affection of so many people, not because — as I suspect Lear would conclude — Americans are racists and anti-Semites but because Archie said what so many people were afraid to say aloud because they had been cowed by political correctness.
The clincher, I suspect, came when Archie smuggled his baby grandson to the local church to be baptized, knowing his resident atheists would never go along with it.
It occurs to me that here lie the reasons that so many of us appreciate another former resident of Queens, New York, a straight talker who currently resides in the White House.
Another inescapable conclusion is that if Archie Bunker was a fictional version of Hyman (Herman) Lear, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine that Norman was the model for the self-righteous spewer of liberal, anti-religious talking points, Michael (“Meathead”) Stivic.
Every autopsy of the recent midterms points to suburban women as the main reason Democrats regained control of the House. I don’t think where they live was the reason they voted so foolishly. Rather, I believe it’s because so many of them went to liberal arts colleges and married men who had done the same.
It’s not that people now in their 60s, 70s, and 80s didn’t also attend college; the difference lies in the colleges they attended, the professors they had, and the classes they took.
Decades ago, college students were far more likely to take up law, medicine, and engineering; their children and grandchildren majored in grievance courses, including social justice, so-called environmental science, gay studies, and social engineering.
Someone with a sense of humor sent me a picture of the recently elected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accompanied by a dialogue balloon in which she says: “Hey, Siri…what does the House of Representatives do?”
Ami Horowitz, one of the few people calling themselves journalists who is actively engaged in journalism, went down to Mexico to join the caravan with a cameraman and actually interview the Hondurans on their way north.
A few of the things he captured on film was proof that, in spite of what we see on cable news shows, 90-95% of the group are young males, not the women and children CNN and MSNBC keep pretending constitute the majority.
What’s more, although many of the people Horowitz interviewed said they wanted to come here to work, many others admitted the big attraction were the free benefits they knew awaited them.
Even though it is costing millions of dollars in food, water, health care, and vehicles to bring them north, nobody has stepped forward to identify himself as their benefactor. But it is a pretty safe guess that it’s George “Daddy Warbucks” Soros.
But not the Evil Hungarian, alone. It seems that the organizers in the group who call themselves something like People Without Borders and wear orange vests as a uniform have a connection to the United Nations.
In fact, when Horowitz phoned the UN, he reached a bureaucrat who, when asked, “This invasion is really to stick it to Trump, isn’t it?” admitted with a laugh that it was.
A friend of mine let me know she had just written an article for a popular website in which she wrote about the erosion of our freedoms, thanks to the government controlling more and more areas of our lives.
I replied: “I guess I don’t feel the loss of freedoms as much as other people. Nobody, after all, tells me what I can or can’t write. Nobody tells me where I can or can’t go or to whom I can or can’t speak. The idea that the government is using a huge vacuum cleaner to sweep up calls between Americans and people in countries that hate us in order to prevent another 9/11 strikes me as a sensible precaution. It’s not that I entirely trust our government, but I trust Islamists far less.
"The truth is, I wouldn’t even object to having my phone tapped, as I only speak on it to make appointments with my doctor and dentist. As for my email, people who know me already know what I think of them and my readers know what I think about everything else.
"I understand that I am a special case, someone with fewer secrets than our dog. But that’s why I don’t take to my fainting couch every time someone mentions the Patriot Act in my presence.”
Stephen Hanover sent me an email letting me know he had seen California’s governor, Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown, on TV blaming the fires out here on global warming.
Hanover mentioned that on those rare occasions when we have heavy rains in California, 95% of the water runs into the Pacific, and Brown’s proposed billion-dollar “train to nowhere” could pay for a reservoir every 50 miles up and down the coast, not to mention a number of desalinization plants.
I let him know that years ago, when Brown first proposed the super train that was intended to run between LA and San Francisco, I had dropped him a note.
I pointed out that few people would ever take the train because the drive only takes six or seven hours and is quite scenic. Moreover, once the passengers arrived at their destinations, they would be without a car.
For the same price, we could not only build more dams to capture rainwater and snowmelt but we could build more prisons so that we wouldn’t constantly be releasing felons because of federal mandates forbidding overcrowding in our jails.
Best of all, from Brown’s point of view, the same left-wing unions would get the construction jobs.
Naturally, I never heard back. Which, when you get right down to it, is the typical response when a conservative voter addresses a liberal politician.