In the 1970s long before reality television held viewers by its voyeuristic stronghold, sitcoms were the fare that taught important lessons. At a time of cultural upheaval for racial, sexual, and gender equality, the world’s most bigoted man was a fictional character. Archie Bunker, the blue collar big-mouth, complete with cigar and slur was often found in his iconic easy chair jamming his foot down his throat with fear-based rounds about blacks, Jews, gays, women, and Hispanics. No one was safe.
Bunker was bolstered by his saintly albeit dimwitted wife Edith who saw beyond his offensive, crusty exterior enough to love him unconditionally. Even as her husband often told her to “stifle” Edith oftentimes edified her husband and TV audiences with her worldly wisdom and unconditional compassion that neutralized the caustic dynamic in the house. When Edith Bunker died in the spinoff, the Anti-hero was left without his anesthetizing counterpart.
Since then, there has been a reckless updraft of familial sap in television sitcoms that had us aching for the realness found at 704 Houser Street. ABCs TGIF night tried, but it was already too late. When the camera focused on Mr. and Mrs. Joe Everyday, America became addicted to itseslf. Real-life drama porn was born.Now, in the 21st Century, we find ourselves fascinated by families that are representative of the sitcoms we once loved. The hyper-procreative, conservative Christian Duggars replaced the bubbly, Catholic Lubbok family in Just the Ten of Us; the Kardashians and their classless, “new money” attitudes have replaced the Beverly Hillbillies. The world’s most bigoted man is no longer a fictional character. He is
Would you elect Archie Bunker for President?
Donald Trump is the cranked up, pimped out version of Archie bunker, spewing hate and inspiring others to do the same. His thin skinned demeanor, stemming from a Richie Rich–esque life in his father’s shadow has been a catalyst for his fear based thought processes and his megalomania. He even has insane disciples that carry out his bidding. Trump has replaced Archie’s chair with a leather seat at the head of the boardroom that brings with it all of the chaos and danger that an enclosed mind can produce.
Where is Edith?
Melania Trump, when will you be our Edith? When will you stand up for womankind and talk your husband off the ledge? When will you inform him that you, in fact, are an immigrant and that his views on immigration are abhorrent at best? When are you going to stand for the rights of the working class that has now become the condensed 98% of the American Population with trailblazing initiatives that rival the fortitude of Michele Obama? Have you forgotten your roots, or has standing in the soles of your Manolo Blahniks erased your memory like they did Carrie Bradshaw?
Wise up Sister.If you’re planning on being the First Lady, you better plan on being a voice for those your husband despises. You better get ready to take one on the chin from the other countries that despise our duplicitous diplomacy. You must transform yourself into the matriarch of this country and console your hungry children. Tell us “It’s not our fault for the way our country is being run, it’s just that Donnie has a real problem with sharing. You Americans have a lot of corporate aunties and uncles that can’t stop being so hungry. Donald needs you to be a tool.” I mean, even though we all see through The Great Trump Media Parade’s façade, we still will want and need to hear it from you.
My fellow Human Beings, please listen to reason! The race for presidency is not a reality TV program. It is not a game. It will affect your life. It is happening to you. Your future and the well-being of future generations will depend on the candidate we elect. Donald Trump is a misogynist, racist billionaire who does not care about you. He does not believe in fiscal solvency, he believes in tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%.
When you say “I like him because he speaks his mind!” Not only do you sound like an uninformed voter at best, you epitomize the lack of intelligence he is counting on that will excuse the fact that he is buying loyalty and paying for the most important seat in the country. If you think Trump would make a great candidate you are committing an act of violence against yourself, this country, and the rest of us indentured servants and slaves who continue to build this nation. If you continue to support Trump you seal the fate and ring the death knell for brown skin be it Hispanic, Native American, African American, or Indian American.
Let us not forget, my fellow Humans that the screen we see is no longer far from us but embedded into our cultural DNA and our psyche. All the information we ingest plays out in the world we live in. When William Shakespeare penned the famous quote “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” he was speaking metaphorically. All those black people you see dying at the hands of “lawmen” are not extras in a movie, they are our neighbors. Those Trans people are not Shakespearean actors of old, they are our brave mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. They don’t need your bullshit jokes; they need you to see them from the inside out, not the outside inward.
We continue to perpetuate the problems of our world when we expect them to be solved after twenty-two minuets of entertainment and canned laughter.
REmember Reality Bites?
Lelaina: I just don’t understand why things just can’t go back to normal at the end of the half hour like on the Brady Bunch or something.
Troy Dyer: Well, ’cause Mr. Brady died of AIDS. Things don’t turn out like that.
How do we get out of this Labyrinth of artificial intelligence? How do we restore ourselves, our individualistic ideals, and secure the future of this fame-dependent nation?
Dare to be different. Boldly go. Pack your integrity.
Our intelligence becomes artificial the moment we invite our screens to do the thinking for us. We defer to the media to purchase our decisions, and to desensitize our hearts to violence. We can no longer kill our way to fame. The moment we replace compassion with cynicism through ego-driven pseudo-wit intended to cast a façade of intelligence, we have become the machine. Do not be so quick to give over the humanity that shapes our shared heritage.