Friday, June 7, 2013

All in the Family.

Edith who?
May 31st Edith Bunker died.
Well actually, it was Jean Stapleton who had played the role on the TV show that changed American culture -
All in the Family.
Tumultuous times.
During the seventies collective
rebellion came to full fruition.
Growing up in a world where
assassinations, shootings, riots,
and protests, were everyday fare,
my generation was at best jaded.
Our cultural DNA was based in
challenging the status quo.
What were they thinking?
My parents could not have been more Republican and therefore conservative. They believed in the American Dream. And yet All in the Family's controversial message broke through while entertaining. Ethel loved it!
Nuclear family?
Archie was a bigot with a heart. Edith an incredibly wise "dingbat". Daughter Gloria, the modern woman. Her husband Mike, a rebel. Neighbor Lionel, a patiently kind friend. Watching their journey helped America confront our prejudices.
I never thought...
All in the Family bluntly dealt with racism, homosexuality, rape, women's rights, abortion, breast cancer, miscarriage, war, menopause, and impotence. It's honesty, humility, and humor educated and pushed us forward.
Did you see that?
In those days you watched TV as a family. Looking back, many dinner conversations related to the prior evening's broadcast.
All In The Family prompted us to discuss taboo topics in an open family forum.
Gone but not forgotten.
Our world has changed since then. What seems archaic today was breakthrough in it's day.
All in the Family was a cultural catalyst. So much so that Edith and Archie Bunker's chairs now sit in the Smithsonian in tribute. BRAVO EDITH, BRAVO!